May 7, 2007

Harassment Case Settled Against Former Portsmouth Sheriff

By Jen Mccaffery, The Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk, Va.

May 7--NORFOLK -- A Portsmouth sheriff's deputy who sued former sheriff Gary W. Waters for sexual harassment reached a confidential agreement with him today.

"I'm just so glad it's over," said Kerrie Briggs, who still works as a deputy. "It's been a long two years."

Waters, who is also facing misdemeanor charges in Portsmouth Circuit Court, said he was relieved the parties reached an agreement.

"It feels good, and I'm ready to get back to my wonderful retirement," said Waters, 62. He served as sheriff for 24 years before moving to Florida.

Current Portsmouth Sheriff Bill Watson was a defendant in the lawsuit. He, Waters, Briggs, and their attorneys worked out the agreement today in federal court, one day before the trial was scheduled to begin.

Briggs, 29, maintained that Waters would call her "pretty lady" and hug her at work, according to a court opinion. Waters also invited Briggs on an all-expenses paid trip to Atlantic City, she claimed, but later retaliated against her when she rebuffed his advances, according to the opinion.

-- Reach Jen McCaffery at (757) 446-2627 or [email protected]


Copyright (c) 2007, The Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk, Va.

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