(CN) - A South Carolina sheriff sent "vulgar and lewd" sexually explicit messages to a woman who requested that he investigate drug activity in her neighborhood, the woman claims in court.
In a complaint filed in Union County, S.C., the plaintiff, identified as Jane Doe," says she obtained defendant Sheriff David Taylor's cellphone number from his wife.
When the woman sent text messages to Taylor offering information about her neighbor's alleged drug activity, "sexual innuendo and a pornographic photo is what she received from the Union County Sheriff in response."
According to the complaint, Taylor also insinuated the woman "should expose herself," that she "liked other men's genitalia," and accused her of having an extramarital affair with her cousin.
The complaint says Doe, a "married woman and concerned citizen," who remains unnamed in order to "protect her from embarrassment," is seeking punitive damages for emotional distress in an amount to be determined by a jury trial.
"(Taylor's) conduct was so extreme and outrageous as to exceed all possible bounds of decency and is utterly intolerable in a civilized community," the complaint states.
Taylor was first elected in 2008 as sheriff of Union County. He is up for re-election this year.
Taylor told Fox station WHNS that he will address the allegations of the complaint through an attorney.
"Given the timing of this lawsuit, I can't help but believe there is some underlying political agenda behind it," he said, adding that he believes there may be a Republican candidate preparing to oppose him in the November election. The filing period for the Union County sheriff's race is March 16-30.
Chad Jenkins of Pope & Hudgens represents Jane Doe and did not respond to request for comment from Courthouse News.