Tuesday Aug 10 2010
Former fair official alleges wrongful termination in suit
By: Josh Fernandez The Press Tribune
A former fair official is suing the Placer County Fair Association for wrongful termination after he claimed the board fired him for reporting a sexual harassment incident. Brock Wimberley, the former chief executive officer of the 9-member Placer County Fair Association, alleged in a lawsuit filed July 26 in Placer Superior Court that a male board member created a hostile work environment, according to court documents. Specifically, one of Wimberley’s female employees reported that a male member of the board “showed her nude and sexually suggestive photos of himself and his wife, while the female employee was at work,” the court documents said. After Wimberley reported the incident to the Board President John Moore, Moore assured him (and the female employee) that an investigation into the sexual harassment complaint would be investigated. In October, 2009, Moore communicated the complaint to the employee who allegedly showed the female employee sexually charged photos. A few days later, Wimberley received a phone call from the employee, who accused him of blackmail and voicing what Wimberley perceived to be a threat to his job. Two weeks later, Wimberley, who held the fair’s top post for five years, was involuntarily and unexpectedly terminated. During Wimberley’s employment with the fair, the grounds saw construction of a new administration building, a rebuilt gate and improvements to the speedway. The suit does not state how much Wimberley seeks in damages. Wimberley’s lawyer nor the current CEO of the fair board could be reached by press time. Josh Fernandez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.