Employee Sues Former AD for Sexual Harassment

Nov 18, 2005

The Director of Equal Opportunity at Murray State University has sued the former Athletic Director E.W. Dennison at MSU, her employer and others, alleging that Dennison sexually harassed her and that the school and others didn’t do enough to address the alleged behavior.
Annazette Fields, who is represented by Theodore H. Lavit, claimed in the U.S. District Court in Paducah, Ky. that the defendants “intentionally, maliciously and without regard to their falsity, published numerous false statements” about Fields, which caused “injury in her occupation, embarrassment and humiliation.”
She is seeking $2 million in damages.
Fields alleged that the incident that led to the litigation took place in her Indianapolis, Ind. hotel room on May 16, 2000. At that time, she claimed, Dennison attempted “to take sexual liberties with (Fields) against her will.”
She further claimed that the university was aware of the incident, but took minimal action. Fields filed suit shortly after Dennison was transferred to a fund-raising role, when he allegedly began retaliating against Fields by discrediting her.
This past April, Fields filed a sexual harassment charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. After the commission dismissed the claim in June, Fields sued.
Dennison has denied the incident took place, telling the Murray State News:
“I denied this all five years ago and offered to take a lie detector test but was assured by Dr. Kern Alexander that was not necessary. And I still deny it today. I went ahead and took a lie detector test, and that will validate my innocence.”
Dennison also has his own lawsuit, suing MSU for defamation and breach of contract.


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