Officer Crystal Casterline of the Brimfield Township police department has filed a lawsuit against former police chief David Oliver, who recently resigned in January amid allegations of misconduct. The lawsuit is seeking $25,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.
As reported by Cleveland.com, Casterline accuses Oliver of sexually harassing her through inappropriate comments and unwanted touching. According to the lawsuit filed Monday in Summit County Common Pleas Court, she also accuses him of retaliating by striking her in the throat and thigh and inventing arbitrary rules for her.
Oliver earned national notoriety through his candid takes on social media, but has deactivated his popular Facebook page since his resignation and sexual harassment allegations. Township trustees initially suspended Oliver for two weeks, but he resigned days later. Trustees had little to say about the allegations when they accepted Oliver’s resignation.
The investigation that led to Oliver’s suspension began with an email Kent attorney Nancy Grim sent to Oliver and other township officials on Dec. 10. In the email, Grim wrote that Casterline, “repeatedly objected to actions by [Oliver] which constitute sexual harassment, hostile work environment and/or retaliation for her opposition to sexual harassment.”
Oliver addressed the accusations in a Facebook post last month, referring to himself as “a hugger.”
“When I hugged officers in the department, it was comical,” he wrote. “Everyone laughed and carried on about it. It was something funny in the middle of what can be a very stressful job. I never once hugged an employee for “dirty” reasons or as something vulgar. That is just not my speed.”