A Sioux City employee is suing city manager Paul Eckert for alleged sexual harassment. Mayor Bob Scott says Eckert remains in his job as the issue moves forward.
“We understood the lawsuit was coming, it isn’t a shock to us,” Scott says. “We don’t like those types of things in the city, but there’s two sides to every story and we need to have the vetting in the courts and that’s where it will go and we’ll determine after that what happens.”
Brittany Scott, who is not related to the mayor, filed the lawsuit today in federal court and is asking for unspecified punitive damages and wants Eckert to be fired. Mayor Scott says no one to his knowledge has asked Eckert to resign and the city will let the legal process play out before taking any action.
“We’re expecting him to manage the city, we’re expecting him to do his job. We are expecting that we will defend the city in this particular case until we know more about it that would somehow lead us to believe that there is an issue,” Scott says.
Brittany Scott was an administrative assistant to Eckert and her complaint says he created a hostile work environment. She says he started taking more interest in her after she became divorced in the fall of 2000.
Scott said Eckert would come to the fitness room when she worked out after city council meetings and would touch and rub her shoulders while she was at work. Scott says when she reported the behavior Eckert retaliated by cutting her hours and pay.
Calls to Eckert and the city attorney for comment have not been returned.
By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City