Boner sticks it out in face of sexual harassment complaints

Taylor Bigler | Entertainment Editor

Bill Boner, the unfortunately named Rutherford County, Tennessee property assessor, is firmly rejecting claims that he sexually harassed — then fired — two female employees.

Kathy Dumm, 54, and Janie Zumbro, 70, were fired Nov. 2, 2011, three months after they made complaints to human resources about Boner’s inappropriate behavior, the Murfreesboro Post reports.

The complaints allege that Boner looked down female employees’ shirts, made grunting noises around women and asked female visitors to do cartwheels in his office. Boner, who owns a petting zoo, talked about sex with animals, and about how he didn’t need a woman for sexual satisfaction, according to the complaints.

“His actions and attitude toward working with ladies in the workplace is that he likes to be flirty with women,” Zumbro said in an interview with the Post. “He thinks it is funny. I do not think he is being malicious, I just think he is being unwise… He ought to know when women are being offended.”

Boner told the Post that he could not comment on the discrimination complaints that were filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission since the investigation is ongoing, but that the allegations are taking a toll on his personal life.

“I would like this to be over with as soon as possible, so that everyone knows the truth,” he said. “My friends and family know what is true and not true.”

Boner says the allegations haven’t softened his hopes for a second term as property assessor, and he is ready for round two this fall when he will run for re-election.

(h/t Jim Romenesko)

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