Jury trial set for 2014 in lawsuit against sheriff

SALISBURY — A lawsuit filed by a former Rowan County deputy against the sheriff is slated for a jury trial next year.

Krystal Connor, a former detention center officer at the Rowan County jail, filed suit against Sheriff Kevin Auten in April, alleging discrimination. In court documents filed Monday, a trial was scheduled for July 7, 2014.

In the lawsuit, Connor said she endured racially derogatory remarks and sexually offensive comments by male co-workers. She was fired in April 2012.

The department fired Connor following an internal probe into an incident at Concord Mills mall, where Connor was charged with misdemeanor shoplifting.

The charge was dropped after Connor’s termination.

In May, a U.S. District Court Judge ordered Connor and the county to undergo mediation talks before allowing the litigation to move forward.

In response to the suit, the Sheriff’s Office cited three department policies that Connor was accused of violating, leading to her dismissal.

Connor said she didn’t violate any policies and claims the alleged harassment and ultimate termination were due at least in part to her race or gender.

In a termination letter given to Connor, the department said Connor was involved in the theft of perfume from Off Saks 5th Avenue.

Auten declined to comment specifically about Connor’s case, citing pending litigation, during a phone interview in May.

“We disagree with every one of them,” Auten said. “We intend to be in court. We just adamantly disagree with her accusations and allegations.”

Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246.

Notice about comments:

Salisburypost.com is pleased to offer readers the ability to comment on stories. We expect our readers to engage in lively, yet civil discourse. Salisburypost.com cannot promise that readers will not occasionally find offensive or inaccurate comments posted in the comments area. Responsibility for the statements posted lies with the person submitting the comment, not Salisburypost.com. If you find a comment that is objectionable, please click "report abuse" and we will review it for possible removal. Please be reminded, however, that in accordance with our Terms of Use and federal law, we are under no obligation to remove any third party comments posted on our website. Full terms and conditions can be read here.

Do not post the following:

  • Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
  • Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
  • Personal attacks, insults or threats.
  • The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
  • Comments unrelated to the story.