A federal sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a Murray County government employee against former sole commissioner David Ridley and Murray County government went to mediation earlier this month but was not settled, an attorney representing the employee said.

“All I can tell you is we’re still talking issues of settlement,” said Stuart James, who along with McCracken Poston is representing longtime county employee Charlene Miles. Miles accused Ridley of physically and verbally sexually harassing her and forcing her to perform a sexual act.

The attorney for Murray County, Ben Mathis, was succinct. Asked the reason for a settlement not being reached, he replied, “(Miles) wanted too much money.” He added he could not discuss an amount.  

After filing an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint in April and receiving a “right to sue” letter, James and Poston filed the federal lawsuit in May. In late March, Ridley suddenly resigned as sole commissioner, citing family reasons.

James was asked if he could “broadly” cite why the mediation, which occurred in Atlanta, failed.

“No, I can’t,” he replied. “I can tell you that everybody learned a little more about the claim.”

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