Lawsuit settled after town manager photographs employee's backside

Lawsuit settled after town manager photographs employee's backside
King says fallout from these pictures being taken eventually cost him his job. (Source: Town of Chadbourn/Johnny King)

CHADBOURN, NC (WECT) - The town of Chadbourn has paid a cash settlement to a former employee, after the town manager took a picture of the employee's partially exposed backside and showed it to his coworkers.

Chadbourn settled the lawsuit with Johnny King in early November for $50,000. King said he was just trying to do his job repairing a water leak for the town of Chadbourn in 2014 when his boss started taking pictures. Because his pants got wet while doing the repair, they slipped slightly below his waist despite the fact he was wearing suspenders.

The following morning, King said Chadbourn Town Manager Patricia Garrell came to the public works office taunting him about the picture.

Garrell showed it to the whole office, belittling him in front of his subordinates. When King's wife demanded that Town Council address what had happened, there was backlash.

King was demoted, given difficult work, and ultimately fired, all while the humiliating incident played out in the news.

Even though he's pleased with his settlement, King said he can't believe Garrell is still employed as the town manager, finance manager and human resources director.

Still, he's moving on. King said he was happy to get a job again working in the water department for Columbus County.

We were not able to reach the Chadbourn town attorney for comment on the recent settlement.

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