With the primary election less than two weeks away, Perrysburg mayoral candidate Kim Klewer has been named as a defendant in a sexual harassment lawsuit filed in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.
Mr. Klewer, who is among four mayoral candidates on Perrysburg's Sept. 13 primary ballot, is accused of fostering a hostile work environment after a female employee ended a relationship with another executive at his Toledo-based security systems business, Asset Protection Corp.
The other executive, Albert Roy Chase, Jr., who is the firm's chief financial officer, is also a defendant in the suit.
Mr. Klewer yesterday denied the allegations made by the former employee, Diane Nuveman, and questioned the timing of the lawsuit against his company, which provides security systems.
Mr. Klewer, a former Perrysburg councilman, said Ms. Nuveman was employed for 2 1/2 years as a clerk in the accounting department but voluntarily resigned in March.
"After she resigned, we began hearing rumblings about [the allegations]. Her attorney, [Kollin Rice], had been in contact with us, making some type of demand for alleged wrongdoings, which are false,'' Mr. Klewer said.
"Perhaps because I am running for mayor of Perrysburg, she might be looking at this as an opportunity to leverage something against the company,'' he said.
Mr. Rice said the decision to file the complaint was made last month after talks with Mr. Klewer and his lawyers to resolve the matter were unsuccessful.
"I didn't want to make this into a political issue. I don't know anything about Mr. Klewer's candidacy other than he is running for mayor,'' said Mr. Rice, who himself is a Democrat running for Oregon City Board of Education.
Ms. Nuveman's suit states she became romantically involved with Mr. Chase beginning in January, but she ended the relationship in February. He retaliated, her suit contends, creating a hostile work environment.
She alleges that Mr. Chase "manipulated and intimidated'' her into submitting her resignation after the break-off and told her not to tell Mr. Klewer about the relationship.
Ms. Nuveman alleges she later asked Mr. Klewer if she could return to work, but was told that she would be closely watched and would have to remain under the supervision of Mr. Chase if she returned.
Mr. Chase could not be reached for comment yesterday. He is a village councilman in Haskins, Wood County, where Ms. Nuveman also resides.
The lawsuit, which was assigned to Judge Denise Ann Dart, seeks damages in excess of $25,000.