Sexual harassment suit against construction firm

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A former office manager at T. Fuller Construction in Waterloo has filed a lawsuit against the business and its owner for alleged sexual harassment and discrimination, among other matters. 

The plaintiff, Cary Joelner, worked at the Waterloo office in the spring of 2019. 

The lawsuit contains five counts for the following alleged misconduct: sexual harassment in violation of the Illinois Human Rights Act, sex discrimination in violation of the act, common law assault, common law battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. 

Attorney Ryan Mahoney of law firm Cates Mahoney, LLC filed suit on April 30. Court documents dated June 18 indicate T. Fuller Construction owner Tony Fuller was summoned to file an answer in the case or appear at the Monroe County Courthouse within 30 days. 

The suit claims Fuller made “sexually suggestive comments, sexual advances and committed … offensive touching on multiple occasions,” and such conduct created a hostile work environment. 

The lawsuit states Joelner was forced to resign due to this alleged misconduct. She now seeks judgement in excess of $50,000 in each count for “actual damages and for costs of suit and attorney fees.” 

In April, Joelner was charged with felony forgery in connection with an alleged incident involving the construction firm.

According to records, Joelner allegedly made a false check from T. Fuller Construction payable to herself while she was employed at the company. Documents say the check was for $546.61. Monroe County Court records state Joelner entered a plea of not guilty to that charge. 

Fuller issued the following statement to the Republic-Times on Joelner’s lawsuit: 

“It is a false accusation. She embezzled money from my company and the people of my community that I know and have donated to and helped know that I treat every man, woman and child with respect.” 

Fuller also said his Waterloo office is under 24-hour security, meaning “everything was recorded” and said this is “important for the truth.” 

Neither of Joelner’s lawyers, Chad Mooney and Mahoney, were able to be reached for comment on the lawsuit as of press time. 

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