Personnel Board declines to increase penalty in sex-harassment case here

By BETH CRACE State Journal Staff Writer Published:

An employee of the state Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet was demoted and reprimanded after making lewd comments and inappropriately touching a co-worker.

The state Personnel Board on Friday upheld a decision to reprimand Ron Pauley, a former deputy Inspector General with Natural Resources. Pauley voluntarily moved to a lower level position with the cabinet following the incident, according to information provided by the Personnel Cabinet.

But a lawyer with the state attorney's general office argued letting Pauley by with a reprimand could be setting a bad example for other state agencies.

"You've got to make an example out of this individual," said Bill Pettus, of the attorney's general office. "...I'd say fire him."

Pauley was accused of making inappropriate or suggestive comments, telling a dirty joke, making reference to another co-worker's sexuality and touching a female co-worker near her breast. These occurrences were said to have taken place in July, 2002.

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