Faulkner Co. employee accused of sexual harassment; prosecutor investigating
FAULKNER COUNTY (KATV) —
A Faulkner County employee is accused of sexual harassment, and now a prosecutor has been asked to take over the investigation.
Sheila Bellott has spent more than 10 years as the Faulkner County 911 Officer Emergency Director, but for the past several years, according to complaints filed, Bellott has been reportedly sexually harassing four employees.
The complaints range from discussing her sexual encounters, to her alleged inappropriate relationship with the county administrator, even taking multiple hour-long breaks on the taxpayers’ dime to get her nails done, according to one complaint.
She’s also accused of using county property for personal use, but the most frequent complaints are sexually explicit conversations in the office. When KATV asked why she has not been reprimanded or fired, the county attorney referenced work environments.
"If you work at a garage full of men, there may be one threshold. If you work in a mixed company in a professional setting, there may be another threshold,” said Faulkner County Attorney David Hogue.
When pressed for the county's threshold, Hogue said it's not his call.
“I can't really say what the threshold is. That's up to whoever the administrator is and thankfully I’m not the administrator in this,” added Hogue.
In a closed-door meeting Tuesday night, the quorum court passed a resolution to hand the investigation over to Prosecutor Cody Hiland, after complaints were submitted to the justices of the peace.
"We're going to do this not in a criminal capacity, this will be a in a civil capacity looking at sexual harassment claims and again see what's there,” said Hiland.
While these complaints came to light in May, despite allegations of years of sexual harassment, Hogue confirmed they were scared to come forward as stated in the complaints.
Two of the four employees have filed complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, meanwhile Hiland tells KATV he's already started his investigation.
Hogue added that County Judge Jim Baker’s solution, prior to the EEOC complaints and the quorum court’s involvement, was to relocate Bellott to another county building retaining her as director while continuing to supervise all four employees.
Channel 7 News reached out to Bellott, she said no comment.