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Sexual harrassment case now moving to civil court

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LANS > Allegations stem from 2012 incident

By The Staff

 Criminal charges were dropped against former Emergency Operations division leader Anthony Stanford in December after Stanford was charged with assault and battery last year.
Stanford’s troubles, though, are far from over.
A married couple employed by the Los Alamos National Laboratory filed a civil suit earlier this month against Stanford, alleging that assault and battery was committed against Erika Gorman.
The suit also names Los Alamos National Security, which alleges it was negligent in hiring, supervising and retaining Stanford.
A lab spokesman refused comment on the pending litigation. Attorney Aaron Boland, who represented Stanford in the criminal case, did not return an inquiry for comment.
The district attorney’s office dismissed the charges without prejudice in magistrate court against Stanford.
The Gormans’ attorney said it was Erika Gorman’s call to file the suit, which was filed in district court.
“Under the criminal case, the worst punishment Stanford could have been assessed would be probation and he probably would not have gotten jail time,” said attorney John Day. “We did not want to put Erika Gorman through a criminal case. We have a civil case ready to go and Erika is certainly happy with that.”
Stanford retired with full benefits last year from the lab before criminal charges were filed.
The civil complaint is similar to the criminal complaint, which was reported by the Los Alamos Monitor in 2012.
The complaint details Stanford’s alleged conduct against Gorman.
The complaint says the Gormans went to their high-ranking LANS supervisor, to whom she had previously reported Stanford’s conduct, to tell him that she could no longer tolerate Stanford’s sexual aggression and intimidation.
“Charlie Anderson apologized to Ms. Gorman for not having done something sooner to address Stanford’s actions. Anderson told Ms. Gorman to come to his office to meet with the division’s human resources representative.
“After hanging up with Ms. Gorman, Charlie Anderson called William Gorman and apologized to him for not having taken care of Stanford’s harassment and intimidation sooner. He directed Mr. Gorman to come to his office.
“When Mr. and Ms. Gorman arrived at Charlie Anderson’s office, Anderson informed them that he had self-reported his prior knowledge of the Stanford harassment to LANS human resources officials Chris James and Barbara Pacheco, and that he was formally recusing himself from participating any further because of his prior involvement.”
The complaint states that on or about Dec. 18, 2012, Gorman reported Stanford’s behavior to LANS’ human resources department. And on Jan. 14, 2013, Gorman reported Stanford’s behavior to the Los Alamos Police Department.
Three days later, Gorman was granted, a temporary restraining order against Stanford. The restraining order was issued by a First Judicial District Court judge after a lengthy hearing in which Stanford took the witness stand and testified and repeatedly confessed, under oath, to his conduct and actions against Gorman.
The complaint says the District Court granted Gorman an extended temporary restraining order against Stanford on Feb. 6.
On the following day, LANS gave Stanford the option of termination or retiring with full benefits.
The Gormans are seeking:

• Compensatory damages, including for physical injury, mental distress, fear, severe anxiety, emotional suffering, and other consequential, incidental, and special damages, under any or all of the causes of action, in an amount to be determined at trial;
• Punitive and exemplary damages, in an amount to be determined at trial;
• All prejudgment and post judgment interest legally available;
• Reasonable costs of the action herein;
• Reasonable attorney’s fees; and
• Any other such further relief as the Court deems just and proper.

Day said particularly concerning to him was when Stanford had to undergo sex discrimination training at LANL.
“When the topic of a scheduled workplace sexual harassment training came up,
Stanford told Ms. Gorman that he hoped he would learn how to improve his harassment techniques,” Day said. “This is a textbook case of sexual harassment.”