Former Prosecutor’s Office Secretary Lawsuit Headed to Mediation
The lawsuit filed by former prosecutor’s office secretary Evon Staley is headed to facilitative mediation. Staley made claims against Branch County Prosecutor Ralph Kimble, claiming she was wrongfully terminated, and that Kimble intimidated her and sexually harassed her.
Per Michigan law, mediation is more confidential than a court proceeding. Mediators are contractually obligated to maintain confidentiality and cannot be called to testify, should mediation fail and the case end up in court.
Once the process begins, the mediator will work with Staley, Kimble, and their attorneys to set ground rules and ensure those ground rules are observed during the mediation process. The mediator will work with both sides, alone and together, to review issues and design potential solutions.
Kimble and Staley remain in control of the outcome and can decide if a potential resolution is something to which they are willing to adhere.
According to reports, Staley’s list of witnesses is more than 75 people long and includes the majority of employees and elected officials in the main courthouse, with the exception of the Treasurer’s office. There are also judges on the list that include those involved in a 2017 investigation of Kimble’s sexual misconduct.
According to Kimble, Staley was fired after a 2016 raid on her home where a marijuana growing operation was found. Staley did not file any complaints regarding harassment until after the raid.
Staley believes she was fired following the filing of complaints about sexual harassment. She also claims other women in the courthouse have been victims.