According to multiple published reports, a sexual harassment lawsuit has been filed against James “Jay” Gaither, Jr., who is the District Attorney for the 25th prosecutorial district. Former Assistant District Attorney Whitney Nicole Shaffer filed the lawsuit in Statesville yesterday (June 26), alleging that Gaither used his position to make unwanted sexual advances toward her. Shaffer initially filed a discrimination paper to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on October 25 of last year.
The papers filed yesterday reportedly include 35 screen-captured images of text message conversations that allegedly took place between Gaither and Shaffer. According to a report in the “Hickory Daily Record,” Gaither says some of the text messages were fabricated.
Gaither will face David Learner in the GOP runoff election for district attorney on July 15. In the newspaper’s report, Gaither says Learner backed the lawsuit.
Shaffer worked as an Assistant District Attorney from February 2013 until May 2013. Gaither reportedly said that Shaffer resigned as the result of inappropriate behavior on her part.