Clerk's Harassment Costs County $665,000

     BELLEVILLE, Ill. (CN) - St. Clair County paid $665,000 to five female employees who claimed they were sexually harassed by the former county clerk.
     Bob Delaney, 55, resigned in June 2013 after an investigation by the county's Equal Employment Opportunity Office. The report found that allegations against Delaney were "overwhelmingly founded."
     The allegations included: 15 employees were afraid of losing their jobs for talking to the investigator and six cried during the interview; Delaney used the terms "nigger," "monkey," "fag" and "Croatian cock sucker" and said that he was going to clean house and the first to go would by the "Mexicans;" Delaney has grabbed female employee's buttocks and breasts at work; Delaney drank on the job; 13 employees said Delaney kissed them on the cheek and lips; and that Delaney gave preferential treatment to Shannon Delaney and Taylor Delaney.
     The investigation was prompted when a former employee, Laura Romero, 25, filed a civil rights complaint against the county and Delaney. The investigation found that four other employees were considering similar actions.
     One woman received $200,000, one $150,000, one $135,000 and two $90,000, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. In return, the women will drop all claims against St. Clair County. The county admits no wrongdoing as part of the settlement.
     Romero has been rehired in another position, with back pay, according to the Post-Dispatch.
     The settlement was reached last year, but was not made public until Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan ordered its release. Madigan's office also wants the names of the women receiving compensation released, but St. Clair County has not complied.
     State's Attorney Brendan Kelly's office is still deciding whether to appeal that point.
     "The public has a right to know how public money is used but I'm not sure anyone has a right to put these women through hell again," Kelly told the Post-Dispatch.