A Lieutenant at the Hinds County Sheriff's Office joined a sexual harassment lawsuit against Sheriff Victor Mason today. Former Hinds County Chief Deputy Cheryl Matory and Tomeca Barnes filed an amended complaint against Sheriff Victor Mason for today in U.S. District Court. Cheryl Matory filed her original complaint last month. Matory made several allegations that were salacious in nature as she accused Sheriff Mason of channeling his inner Bill Clinton by trying to use her to arrange sexual encounters with another employee. The amended complaint states:
In 2015 Mason asked Matory, then a Jackson Police Department (hereinafter “JPD”) corporal and crime scene investigator, to assist him in recruiting employees to work for him in anticipation of his election as the Sheriff of Hinds County, Mississippi. At the time, Matory had more than 20 years of law enforcement experience with JPD and the Biloxi Police Department. Mason directed Matory to invite Barnes, then a Jackson Police Department (hereinafter “JPD”) corporal, to work with them to elect him as sheriff. Mason promised Matory he would select her as his undersheriff if he won the sheriff’s election. Mason promised Barnes that he would select her as the head supervisor of Internal Affairs Division (hereinafter “IAD”) if he became the sheriff.
8. During the campaign season, Mason began frequently texting Matory about Barnes. On June 16, 2015, Mason texted Matory and asked “Where Temeca Barnes?” Matory replied that Barnes was working. On July 8, 2015 at 2:20 p.m., Mason texted Matory and asked, “Where’s Temeca Barnes?” Matory, who also worked part-time at the Hilton, replied: “Not @ the Hilton Bossman.” Mason retorted: “she and I need to be at the Hilton.” Matory responded: “-.” Mason texted again and said, “where is she?” Matory replied: “somewhere praying.” Barnes also is a minister. In response, Mason texted, “hopefully to get me.” Matory texted Mason and asked “are you serious?” Mason did not respond.
9. On July 15, 2015 at 6:12 a.m., Mason sent Matory a video of a male JPD officer performing a sexual act on another male. On July 26, 2015 at 7:37 a.m., Mason texted Matory and said “Temeca Barns.” Matory responded, “what’s going on Bossman, Barnes.” Mason asked, “where is she?” Matory told Mason she didn’t know. On July 28, 2015, Mason sent Matory a photograph at 2:27 a.m. of Barnes in her Honor Guard uniform. At 5:28 p.m. that day, Mason texted Matory and asked “have you talked with Temeca Barnes this evening?”...
10. On August 4, 2015, Mason defeated then Sheriff Tyrone Lewis in the primary election. Four days after winning the primary as the democrat candidate for sheriff, Mason texted Matory and asked, “where’s Officer Barnes?” Matory told Mason, Barnes was out on leave. In addition to working as a corporal at JPD, Barnes is a member of the military. On August 18, 2015, Mason texted Matory and said “Hey.” Matory responded: “what doing.” Mason stated “thinking about Barnes.” Matory responded “Lol!!!!! Not time.” Mason responded “ok.” On August 19, 2015, Mason texted Matory and stated “Barnes.” On August 31, 2015, Mason texted Matory: “TB.” Matory did not respond.
11. On September 9, 2015, Mason texted Matory and asked, “Where’s TB?” Matory responded: “What up Bossman!!!!” Mason responded “Temeca Barnes.” Matory told Mason, “she’s busy.” Mason asked Matory “Will she give me some?” Matory responded, “Ahhhhhhh I don’t know, What Doing?” Mason then stated “If she doesn’t you won’t get hired. Take a guess.” Matory texted Mason and said, “Well that’s not my fault can’t tell grown folks what to do with personal life.” Mason texted back and said “Ok I’ll show you.” Matory responded and said, “If you are a charmer you know what to do, OK 10/4.” Mason stated, “Oh I am trust me.”...
14. Within minutes of leaving the meeting, Mason texted Barnes at 9:55 p.m. and stated: “Lt. Tomeca Barnes Office of Special Incestigations (SIC) Hinds County Sheriff’s Dept.” Mason texted Barnes and said, “Now I have to get you a call sign. Any ideas?” Barnes responded, “Let’s see!” Mason then asked Barnes “did I catch you at a bad time?” Barnes responded, “No, I’m just getting out of roll call. My apologies for the breaks in the traffic.” Mason apologized for texting Barnes and told her that he didn’t
know she had to work that night. Barnes responded “No problem.” Mason texted Barnes and said “We can talk later. Thanks for tonight.”...
15. On November 12, 2015, Mason texted Barnes and said “Goodmorning (sic) Lt. Barnes.” She replied: “Good Morning Sheriff.” Mason responded, “You like that don’t you?” Barnes texted, “You’re the Sheriff.” Mason replied: “And you’re the lieutenant.” In response, Barnes texted, “Yes Sheriff.”
16. On November 15, 2015, Mason sent Barnes a photograph of a badge to show her what her Hinds County Sheriff’s Department (hereinafter “HCSD”) badge would look like. On the same day, Mason texted Barnes and asked, “how many years of service do you have including military?” Barnes texted Mason and told him she worked 15 years as a police officer and served nine years and 10 months in the military. Mason texted Barnes and said “Your monthly salary according to my stats will be $4720.15.” Barnes responded “But God.”
17. On November 21, 2015, Mason texted Barnes and asked her if she was sure she was okay with a salary of $4,720.15. Barnes replied, “Yes, Sheriff it’s great.” Mason texted Barnes and asked “Would it bother you if I moved you up?” Barnes responded: “Why would you do that Sheriff?” Mason replied: “Why shouldn’t I.” Barnes texted: “I’m no different from anyone else Sheriff.” Mason responded: “I have my reasons.”...
25. After the text message exchange with Mason, Barnes began to spurn Mason’s unwanted advances toward her. Barnes was so uncomfortable being left alone with Mason that she asked him if Matory could remain in his office when she briefed him. Barnes told Matory that she did not feel comfortable with Mason. Mason told Matory that she better make sure that Barnes came to his office “or else.” When Matory asked Mason what he meant by “or else,” he told her “you think I’m playing. I’ll show you.” Matory told Mason that she was not going to arrange for him to have sex with Barnes. Mason became angry and began to distance himself from Matory and Barnes.
26. Before he distanced himself from Matory, Mason asked Matory what would she do if she came to his office and it smelled like “ass.” Matory asked Mason “are we still dealing with that, we have work to do.” Matory asked Mason not to involve her in his plans for Barnes and to stop directing her to tell Barnes that he was interested in having sex with her.
27. In the Spring of 2016, Mason repeatedly told Matory he was going to make her kiss an employee he nicknamed “Lips.” Mason began saying in his office “everyone loves dick.” When Matory asked Mason why he was using derogatory language, he said he was referring to Captain Richard Brown. Matory asked Mason to stop but Mason said it was not unprofessional and it is true that “everybody loves dick.”
28. On July 5, 2016, Mason demoted Matory and Barnes. Pete Luke, a white male, was selected to replace Matory as the undersheriff. Keith Barnett, an African-American male, was selected to replace Barnes as the head supervisor of IAD. Before demoting Matory and Barnes, Mason failed to pay them the salary he conveyed to them when he was recruiting them. Barnes earned less at the HCSD than she earned when she was with JPD. When Barnes texted Mason about the discrepancy in her pay on January 29, 2016, Mason did not respond.
The rest of the amended complaint provides more alleged details on the termination of Matory and retaliation against Barnes.
It is important to note that neither the original or amended complaint have been served upon the Sheriff or Hinds County.