GORHAM (NEWS CENTER Maine) — The Shawn Moody for Governor campaign is defending Moody against a 12-year-old charge of sexual discrimination.
The complaint was made public Friday morning in an article in the New York Times, detailing the claim by a woman who used to work for Moody’s business.
The issue goes back to 2006 when Jill Hayward, who had been fired from Moody’s Collision Center, filed a sexual discrimination complaint with the Maine Human Rights Commission. In the complaint, she accused Shawn Moody of firing her because she had recently had a baby.
The complaint states that Moody fired Hayward while she was at home on maternity leave, and says Moody told her: "I want to see you grow and now that you have [your child] I’m not sure you can do that in this job."
The complaint by Hayward was settled in 2006 with a $20,000 settlement payment from Moody’s insurance company, and the complaint was then withdrawn.
Moody said Friday he is restricted by a nondisclosure agreement from giving details of the situation, and is not allowed to even say if the allegations are untrue.
But Moody told reporters that his company only fires people for poor performance, and that it's never one person’s decision.
"Our company has a process a structure in place that decisions are made as a leadership group," Moody said. "No one person can hire someone or let someone go independently or individually on their own, that’s not the process."
Several women employees also spoke, defending Moody and saying the company has been supportive of working mothers.
Moody said he believes the story is part of an effort by Democrats to defeat him.
The Maine GOP told the Associated Press the re-surfaced claim was a "smear."
The Janet Mills campaign and the Maine Democratic Party did not respond Friday to requests for comment.