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Federal lawsuit filed against Johns Creek and former police chief

By Adrianne Murchison, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

(CNT) City News Talk #atlanta-ga

A federal lawsuit was filed Friday against Johns Creek and its former police chief on behalf of an employee questioned in a city investigation into the chief’s conduct.

The lawsuit accuses Chris Byers, who resigned in August, of using his position as police chief to sexually harass the plaintiff and other female subordinates.

Attorney Eleanor Attwood confirmed in an email to The Atlanta Journal Constitution that her client was questioned during the Byers investigation last summer.

Johns Creek Mayor Mike Bodker said he couldn’t comment on an active lawsuit. The mayor said that, in general, Johns Creek has an excellent police department which has had problems over the years that are similar to other police departments.

A phone message to Chris Byers’ attorney was not returned.

Byers received a lump sum payment of $325,000 in a settlement agreement related to his resignation on Aug. 10.

Before his resignation, he had been under investigation for nearly two months for an incident in which he made a sexually explicit remark to another police department employee.

An outside attorney who investigated Byers’ behavior for the police department concluded the former chief violated the city and police department’s sexual harassment and conduct policies.

The federal lawsuit filed against Byers and the city accuses Byers of making multiple sexual advances and comments to staff, including telling the female plaintiff “… I’m going to my office, go wait under my desk for me.”