UNION — Sheriff David Taylor said he suspects there is an “underlying political agenda” behind a lawsuit filed against him by a woman calling herself “Jane Doe.”
The suit, which was filed this past Friday in the Union County Clerk of Court’s Office, lists Doe as the plaintiff and Taylor as the defendant and asks for a jury trial. It states that the “plaintiff is a citizen of Union County who brings this matter in a fictitious name so as to protect her from such further great embarrassment which the conduct of the defendant complained of herein has thus far wrought.”
The “great embarrassment” the suit alleges Taylor caused Doe began when she contacted him to provide him with information about a neighbor’s drug activities. The suit states Doe obtained Taylor’s cellphone number from his wife and then, via text message, offered to provide him “with all the information she had been able to compile, along with any other type of assistance she could offer, in connection with her effort to stop the alleged drug activity.”
The suit claims that “rather than accept or refuse” Doe’s “information or assistance,” Taylor “sent sexually explicit messages” to her, “including a pornographic picture.” It further claims that Taylor made comments “insinuating” that Doe “should expose herself.” It also claims that Taylor sent messages “which preposterously state” that Doe “is in an extramarital, sexual relationship with her cousin and insinuate that she likes other men’s genitalia.”
The suit claims that Doe “was shocked, outraged, physically sickened, and emotionally distressed” by Taylor’s conduct.
When contacted by The Union Times about the suit Monday morning, Taylor declined to comment on the allegations, saying he has turned the matter over to his attorney.
“I received a complaint from Jane Doe on Friday,” Taylor said. “I’ve instructed by attorney to immediately file a response on my behalf. I expect him to explain my side of the situation and fully address all of the allegations. My attorney will file a response with the next 30 days as required by law.”
While he would not comment on the allegations contained in the lawsuit, Taylor did say that he feels the suit is politically motivated.
“Given the timing of the Jane Doe lawsuit I can’t help but think there’s an underlying political agenda at work here,” Taylor said.
This year is an election year and among the offices on the ballot in the November general election is the Office of Union County Sheriff. Taylor, who has been sheriff for the past eight years, said he is seeking another term and will file to run for the Democratic nomination in the June primary.
When asked if he knew the identity of the woman identifying herself as Jane Doe, Taylor said, “I can’t comment on that right now. My attorney has advised me not to.”
Taylor declined further comment because “it’s a legal matter and it has been turned over to my attorney.”
Doe’s suit was filed by her attorney, W. Chad Jenkins of the Newberry law firm of Pope & Hudgens, P.A.. When contacted about the suit Monday morning, Jenkins declined to comment, but did say that an amended version of the suit would be filed with the Union County Clerk of Court’s Office. Jenkins said that the suit would include a timeline of the events involved in the case which he said took place between June and October 2015.
When contacted about this, Taylor again declined to comment.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or firstname.lastname@example.org.