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Former officer drops lawsuit against sheriff

SALISBURY — A former officer who filed suit against the Rowan County sheriff has dismissed the litigation, court records show.
Krystal Connor, a former detention center officer at the Rowan County jail, filed suit against Sheriff Kevin Auten in April, alleging discrimination. But just weeks after a judge set the matter to go to a jury trial next summer, Connor pulled the complaint.
In court records filed Friday, Connor’s attorney, David Shelby of Salisbury, and the department’s defense attorney, Kenneth Raynor, signed a stipulation for dismissal.
In an email to the Post, Raynor said Connor voluntarily dismissed the action following the deposition of an incident, involving her and two others, at Concord Mills.
“There was no settlement of the claim. Conner chose to abandon the claim after the depositions,” Raynor wrote. “The dismissal terminates the case against the Sheriff. The dismissal would bar any further effort to raise these claims against the Sheriff or his office.”
In the lawsuit, Connor said she endured racially derogatory remarks and sexually offensive comments by male co-workers.
She was fired in April 2012 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.

Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246.

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