Health Dept. Worker Sues Prince George's County Over Alleged Sexual Harrassment

Woman describes supervisor as "sexual predator"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A woman who described her supervisor at the Prince George's County Health Department as a "sexual predator" is suing the county and the department, claiming abuse of power. (Published Thursday, Feb 7, 2013)

    A woman who described her supervisor at the Prince George's County Health Department as a “sexual predator” is suing the county and the department, claiming abuse of power.

    “The feeling is horrific,” Oreadea Treadwell said.

    Treadwell alleges ongoing sexual harassment at the hands of her supervisor and says nothing happened when she reported it. According to her civil lawsuit filed in federal court, her boss – Nigerian-born Christopher Oladipo, father of Indiana University basketball star Victor Oladipo -- aggressively pursued her for years.

    Treadwell eventually ordered a peace order against her boss

    “He still violated the peace order,” she said. “I had to go back to court, get another peace order. It’s been a long, rocky, hard, bruising road.”

    A report by the Prince George’s County Human Relations Commission -- an independent board that investigates claims like this -- supported Treadwell’s complaints, stating, “The investigation did not reveal witnesses that could provide eyewitness accounts of the alleged incidents made by the complainant … but a preponderance of evidence does support sexual harassment more than likely occurred.”

    A large part of that investigation was impacted by interviews with other employees, who said they also felt uncomfortable around Oladipo, and there was a former employee who also filed a peace order against him. One worker said Oladipo would hire women from Nigeria and force them to have sex with him at a nearby hotel.

    “The mystery is why they refused and continue to refuse to this day to take any action against this man,” attorney Ted Williams said.

    The Prince George’s County Executive’s office issued a statement saying, “The county does not comment on the facts of pending lawsuits. The county conducted an internal investigation and took appropriate action given the facts as we understand them to be.”

    A Prince George’s County spokesman confirmed that Oladipo still works at the Health Department and was never asked to leave pending the outcome of this investigation.

    Treadwell has been moved to another branch of the Health Department, and a county spokesman said workers are getting workplace awareness training.

    All parties have been served in this suit. No court date has been set.

    As News4 was asking questions Wednesday, all Health Department workers received a note saying no one would be allowed to speak to the media.