By Luis Cabrera
An ex-deputy in the Las Vegas Township Constable’s Office has filed a sexual
harassment complaint against her former boss, The Sun says. Kristy Henderson alleges she was repeatedly disturbed with sexual comments and advances by Constable John Bonaventura after he took office in early 2011.
Henderson was fired July 13 of this year but she says her dismissal was
retaliatory. The Sun is reporting that another employee of the local enforcement agency said the sexual jokes and innuendos by Bonaventura were well-known throughout the office. “Once he got [here], those things started happening,” Jenny Lawson is quoted, “He would tell me I was wearing ‘a very sexy dress.’ He thinks he is above everybody.”
In the complaint, Henderson states Bonaventura at one time asked her to wear
a “mini-skirt and garter” to work, instead of the regular uniform. She also alleges that in an incident in April of 2011 Bonaventura tried to hug and fondle her before she asked him to stop. Yet in another instance, the former employee says Bonaventura once openly boasted about his excitement over her “hard body.” Henderson was Bonaventura’s only female deputy at the time.
In the story, the local newspaper is reporting that another employee of the
Constable, who declined to be identified, said female clerks have to put up with sexual comments regularly. “A lot of connotations, the rudest things”, she is quoted as saying, “no doubt is a hostile environment.”
The 14-page document filed by Henderson points to a pattern of harassment, Joe Schoenmann writes. The reporter says “stories of [Kristy] Henderson being harassed are so well known that [some] employees of the Constable’s Office say they have seen it happening.”
The Constable’s Office was in a controversy earlier this year when a video of
deputies and employees of the agency was uploaded to YouTube. In the clip, staff members are seen using profanity and impersonating police officers. It is not clear if the video was part of an alleged pilot for a reality show featuring the office’s clerks and deputies. Kristy Henderson was in the original video that aired in January, but she opposed being a part of the show and now believes that contributed to her termination.
Henderson’ complaint was filed with the Clark County Office of Diversity, but
will very likely be resolved by the Nevada Equal Rights Division.
When County Commissioner Steve Sisolak saw the complaint, he said “It’s
obvious the (Constable’s Office) needs more transparency in its conduct. These are serious allegations.”