Zoning Officer 'Hounded' Co-Worker, Suit Claims
John Fugger remains suspended without pay following allegations he continued to harass woman after he was told to stop, according to lawsuit.
A newly-filed claim against Morristown's zoning officer paints a more detailed picture about what his accuser says has been a pattern of harassment over several years.
Lisa Manshel, of the law firm of Francis and Manshel, of Millburn, submitted a tort claim to the Town of Morristown on Dec. 18 on behalf of her client, who accused John Fugger in October of harassment. He has since been suspended without pay from his $83,469 a year job with the town.
The original claim stated Fugger had made unwanted calls to a female co-worker after-hours, despite being told to stop.
In the tort claim for damages filed last month, Fugger is stated to have subjected Manshel's client "to a pattern of stalking, sexual harassment and retaliation for rejection of his advances" since 2009.
"He has hounded her verbally and in repeated phone calls, followed her in his car, monitored her movements, made harassing phone calls to her husband and sister and yelled at her and begged her not to report him," the claim states. It goes on to note the October claim of a harassing voicemail left in early October that ultimately led to his present suspension from his town employment.
Despite Manshel's client filing a police report and Fugger being instructed not to contact her, the suit claims on Nov. 17, 2012, he again left the female co-worker a harassing voicemail message.
A tort claim is a wrongful action suit which, under certain conditions, waives governmental immunity and allows lawsuits by people claiming wrongdoing by government agencies or their employees. They include, but are not limited to, according to the suit, "negligent hiring, negligent supervision, negligent retention, intentional infliction of emotional harm, civil conspiracy and assault."
Peter Gilbreth, the Morristown-based attorney representing Fugger, said he has not yet seen a copy of the Dec. 18 claim filed by Manshel.
"I was verbally notified it had been filed," he said. "I understand the town has submitted it to their insurance carrier to review."
Until the insurance company returns with its decision, no further comment would be provided, Gilbreth said.
A call to Lisa Manshel seeking comment on behalf of her client was not immediately returned Wednesday afternoon.