published Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Charles Sharrock faces hearing Nov. 27

"He would pull me so tightly to his chest."

That's not a line from a steamy novel -- it's an excerpt from a complaint a female Fort Oglethorpe city employee made in 2008 about City Councilman Charles Sharrock.

The Fort Oglethorpe City Council will hold a public hearing at 11 a.m. Nov. 27 at City Hall to consider an allegation that Sharrock sexually harassed another female city employee on Oct. 9.

Under the City Charter, if the four other members of the five-member council vote unanimously, they could remove Sharrock from office. If he's dismissed, Sharrock could appeal in Catoosa County Superior Court, the charter states.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press obtained a copy of the Oct. 9 complaint, as well as complaints made in 2009 and 2008 by two other female city employees who wrote that Sharrock hugged and kissed them.

One complainant wrote that she was at the city's police station and had both her hands on the dispatch office's window ledge when Sharrock walked up and put his arm around her.

"I like this girl, I don't know why, but I do," Sharrock told the woman, according to a statement she wrote at the request of Police Chief David Eubanks.

"Mr. Sharrock followed that remark up by pulling me to him and kissing me on the cheek near my jawbone," she wrote. "He kept his arm around me and continued speaking to me about my recent suspension for the traffic accident I'd been involved in."

The woman had an accident driving one of the city's new Volkswagen Passats.

After the hug and kiss, the woman stepped away and immediately reported the incident to Lt. Steve Blevins, she wrote. A dispatcher with the city wrote a statement confirming she had seen Sharrock put his arm around the woman and kiss her.

In 2009, another female employee who no longer works for the city wrote that Sharrock, who had previously given her "buddy hugs" or "side hugs," came into her office and "gave me a front hug with his arms around my back and gave me a kiss on my lower right neck."

She didn't consider it a friendly hug, but "more of a passionate hug," she wrote.

In 2008, a female employee complained that, over a period of several weeks, Sharrock made a point of coming into her office to give her hugs.

"At first I was not uncomfortable with this behavior. It was more like a 'hello' greeting," she wrote. "However after time went by the hugs became more and more uncomfortable. They also became more and more frequent. It made me feel violated. I felt like he was trying to 'cop a feel' off of me. He would pull me so tightly to his chest."

The woman wrote that she tried to "steer clear" of Sharrock.

Sharrock declined to comment before the hearing.

about Tim Omarzu...

Tim Omarzu covers Catoosa and Walker counties for the Times Free Press. Omarzu is a longtime journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor at daily and weekly newspapers in Michigan, Nevada and California. Stories he's covered include crime in blighted parts of metro Detroit and Reno, Nev.; environmental activists tree-sitting in California's Sierra Nevada foothills; attempts by the Michigan Militia to take over a township┬╣s government in northern Michigan. A native of Michigan, ...

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »

advertisement
advertisement
400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.