ANDERSON — A former dispatcher at the Madison County Central Dispatch has filed a discrimination lawsuit against the county based on its handling of a sexual assault complaint against an Anderson police officer.
The lawsuit, filed by Marion Miller, contends Miller had to work in a hostile work environment, was retaliated against by being passed over for promotion and was forced to quit her job.
Miller filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for Southern Indiana seeking compensatory damages and legal costs against Madison County.
The complaint states on Oct. 16, 2019, Miller was working as a second shift assistant supervisor when she was sexually assaulted by Anderson Police Department officer Taylor Sanderson.
Miller said Sanderson reached around her back and under her armpit to touch her chest as she was sitting at a computer while working at the dispatch center.
Miller pressed charges at the time against Sanderson and “It was apparent that people who worked for defendant (Madison County) did not want plaintiff to press charges,” the lawsuit states.
That same year Miller was passed over for promotion to the second shift supervisor despite having the most experience of anyone who applied.
Miller contends that other county employees encouraged and harassed her to quit the job, and in January 2020 she left the position.
An internal investigation conducted by APD sustained the allegation and Chief Jake Brown started disciplinary action against Sanderson.
Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings reviewed the result of the internal investigation at the time and determined Sanderson’s actions didn’t warrant the filing of any criminal charges.
Last December the Anderson Board of Public Safety ruled that Sanderson should not be terminated, contrary to Brown’s recommendation.
The safety board disciplined him to time served on unpaid leave and that he not be awarded back pay.
They determined that charges of immoral conduct; conduct injurious to the public peace or welfare; and violation of department rules were not sustained.
Miller filed a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in October 2020. In July 2020 the U.S. Department of Justice issued a notice of right to sue.
County Attorney Jeff Graham said he was aware of a Tort Claim filed by Miller and that the discrimination lawsuit would be handled by attorneys for the county’s insurance company.