Polk County judicial assistant says her firing was retaliation - FOX 13 News

Polk County judicial assistant says her firing was retaliation

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Until two weeks ago, Alisha Rupp was a judicial assistant to judge Beth Harlan at the Bartow courthouse. She was fired on July 10th. She says she was retaliated against.

"Because I did witness sexual misconduct between Judge Flood and her bailiff Bubba Maxcy and complained about Bubba Maxcy sexually harassing me and threatening me if I complained about what I witnessed," Rupp said.

Rupp and her attorney filed federal and state complaints. In a letter written to State Supreme Court Justice Ricky Polston and State Attorney Jerry Hill, she details some of the incidents she witnessed, including allegations that she walked in on Judge Susan Flood and Bailiff Bubba Maxcy having sex in Flood's office.

The letter also says Maxcy made sexual advances toward her.

"For Judge Flood to engage in such behavior, for her bailiff to engage in such behavior, corrupts the entire system," said attorney David Linesch.

Rupp claims to have reported the harassment and sexual environment, but nothing was done. She was fired a few weeks later amid claims that she falsified her time sheets, which she denies doing.

The Polk County Court Administrator says he has no reason to believe Rupp's claims, questioning their timing. He also said she's been involved in other issues in the past, including time sheet problems.

Regarding Bailiff Maxcy, a court investigation revealed the sexual harassment claims against him were unfounded.

A sheriff's office investigation is underway now, and he's been suspended pending the outcome.

The entire case is another black eye for Polk County, following the sex scandal involving the Lakeland Police Department. They're unrelated, but in an eerie similarity, Rupp's attorney represents the woman in the middle of that scandal, too.

"For goodness sake they need to be doing the job they're charged with doing, not engaging in this kind of nonsense," Linesch said.

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