Surfside Beach town employee files sexual harassment complaint against councilman

Surfside Beach town employee files sexual harassment complaint against councilman

SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A Surfside Beach town employee said a sitting councilman sexually harassed her and now she has filed a formal complaint.

The complaint was levied against sitting councilman Randle Stevens.

Since the town has the right to try to resolve the alleged harassment before releasing any information, town employees could not provide a copy of the complaint. However, they did say they plan to protect the complainant in this matter.

What WMBF News was given was the kind of form the complainant filled out.

The complaint/harassment form asks for the name of the person and a detailed description of the events that took place. It also asks for witness names, if other people have complained about the same person and what action the complainant would like the town to take if the complaint is proven to be true.

At the bottom of the form a signature is needed from not only the employee, but also another town official.

Within the sexual harassment section of the town of Surfside Beach's handbook, it states the employee must report the alleged harassment to their supervisor or to a, "higher level in the chain of command," and the town administrator.

The handbook goes on to say the entire town council must be notified in executive session within 96 hours of the reported incident.

The person the complaint is filed against, Stevens, is a part of that council.

Though Stevens did not want to go on camera, he said the claims were not true and all he has ever said was along the lines of the complainant was pretty, something he said he would say to most people in a polite way.

Stevens added he has a daughter in her twenties and said he could not imagine crossing the line with someone a similar age or a little older. His wife told WMBF News she has been married to Stevens for 48 years and has never known him to make harassing comments.

Surfside Beach Mayor Bob Childs did not provide a comment because it involves a town employee and is considered a personnel matter.

According to the town's handbook, sexual harassment may include a number of factors, including sexual propositions, sexual innuendo, suggestive comments, sexually-oriented kidding or teasing, practical jokes, jokes about sex, and foul or obscene language or gestures.

The form the town employee filled out also asks if she would be willing to take a polygraph test if it comes down to her word against Stevens.'

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