The sexual harassment suit against Vicksburg Mayor Paul Winfield rumbles on as the mayor attempts to seal several documents containing accusations that were violent and lurid in nature in a telephonic hearing tomorrow in federal court. It seems the Mayor did not like what plaintiff and former city employee Kenya Burks had to say in her pleadings and answers to his questions. He really did not like the fact the media repeated much of what was claimed by Ms. Burks and accused her of "manipulating the media'. He said her court filings are:
"filled with defamatory statements, unfounded accusations of fornication, and other scandalous behavoir and the Mayor and other citizens having no connection to this litigation.... Burks filed her motoin to compel relying on nothing more than lies, innuendos, speculation, unsworn statements, rumors, and rank hearsay."
Ms. Burks is having none of it and made more accusations against the Mayor. Ms. Burks served as the Mayor's chief of staff. She sued him and the City of Vicksburg for sexual harassment and firing her when she ended an alleged affair between she and the Mayor. She accused him of trying to "intimidate" her and threatening to use the FBI against her. Ms. Burks accuses the Mayor of using the media himself and argues he can't have it both ways as he seeks to silence her. The Mayor was arrested two weeks ago by the FBI on bribery charges.
While it is clear Ms. Burks and Mr. Winfield really don't like each other, discord between opposing attorneys is starting to heat up as well. Attorney Vikki Taylor of Gibbs Whitwell sent Burks' attorney Nick Norris a letter on Valentine's Day asking him to "take immediate measures to have the memoranda and exhibits that Burks fled in support of her motion to compel placed under seal. This includes having all inks to these and any other "materially prejudicing" documents removed from The Vicksburg Posts's website". (Dear Vikki, I think you know better than to make that request to this website.) Trust me, lawyers wish they could get stories removed from media websites.
Ms. Taylor sent this email after they had another spat on February 8. She complained about him filing the motion to compel: "Nick, I am surprised and disappointed that you did not call me before filing the motion to compel. You, Louis (Watson, his partner), and I have worked together amicably since I moved here in 1999.." and then asked Mr. Norris for another extension to file a response. Mr. Norris said nope. We've already done this several time, and you've gotten your mulligans on that issue. As for the amicable relationship, Mr. Norris replied:
"on another note, we have not worked together since 1999. I was a sophomore at MSU, and Louis was as defense lawyer at Butler Snow in 1999." Second email, First email
Things should be interesting tomorrow on the phone.