BARTOW - The Polk County Sheriff’s Office has announced they’ve suspended the bailiff at the center of a sex scandal at the courthouse. PCSO says they are now conducting both administrative and criminal investigations into Bailiff James Bubba Maxcy, 37.
On Wednesday, a judicial assistant in Polk County filed a complaint of discrimination with the state.
During a news conference, Alisha Rupp and her lawyer, David J. Linesch told reporters she was fired after complaining of sexual harassment and a hostile work environment.
Rupp, a judicial assistant for Circuit Court Judge Beth Harlan, claims she walked in on County Judge Susan Flood having sex with her bailiff, James Bubba Maxcy, on a table in Flood's office.
"I come before you today to expose this unacceptable behavior and seek justice for the wrongs committed against me," she told a room of reporters at Linesch's Palm Harbor law firm.
Through her attorney, she claims Judge Flood and Maxcy threatened her after she walked in on them. She says Maxcy even threatened to tase her if she told anyone what she witnessed.
“That is wrong and that is against everything in the judicial system that I have been a part of for the past 15 years,” said Rupp.
She even claims Rupp made sexual advances on her ranging from crude, inappropriate remarks to cornering her against a wall “pushing himself against her.”
Rupp claimed the affair between Flood and Maxcy was common knowledge in the courthouse. She said she first learned of it in November 2011.
"She was threatened if she told anyone that it would mean trouble for her. The bailiff actually threatened to tase her," Linesch said. "For this kind of misconduct to happen in judicial circuit is so off the charts.”
Furthermore, Linesch said Rupp reported several instances of misconduct and sexual harassment to the chief judge, but they claim he didn't do anything about it.
A court spokesman said Rupp was fired on July 10th due to discrepancies with her time sheet and didn’t file a complaint until two days later. Rupp said they made it up so they had a reason to fire her.
Court documents show they did investigate her complaints in July, but her claim was “rejected as unfounded.” According to court administrator, Nick Sudzina, Rupp failed to show up to a scheduled hearing on the matter.
Attempts to reach out to both Judge Harlan and Judge Flood were unsuccessful Wednesday night.
PCSO says Maxcy, who was hired by the sheriff’s office in 2000, will remain suspended pending the outcome of their investigations.
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