Attorney Lawson Denies Alleged Sexual Harassment

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Attorney Charles Lawson has denied he sexually harassed a 20-year-old employee of Big River Grille, and he said he has witnesses to prove it.

The employee, Ashley Burgess, is suing the 42-year-old attorney with Chambliss, Bahner and Stophel in Circuit Court.

The suit, which asks $500,000 in damages, claims that attorney Lawson told the employee how "beautiful" she was, then he slammed her against a brick wall, grabbed her by the hair and proceeded to fondle her and rub against her private area.

He was charged with sexual battery, and he entered a judicial diversion to the lesser charge of assault.

Attorney Lawson, in an answer, said he did go from a restaurant next door with a beer to Big River Grille and the employee told him he could not enter. He said there was no sexual assault, however.

He said co-workers of the employee as well as a woman who was with him that night declared they did not see it happen.

The answer said the plaintiff told a co-worker that if she went along with the allegations that she would give her a share of the proceeds.

It says the plaintiff in a My.Space posting listed her income as "$250,000 and higher." It was noted the suit asks $250,000 compensatory and $250,000 exemplary damages.

The My.Space page was headed "Its Ashley B----" and listed her mood as "naughty," the answer notes. She says in the posting, "I make an awful enemy. I DARE you to mess with me. I won't beat you up, but my best friend will."

The answer says the allegations were aimed at generating media attention and pressuring the attorney into settling the case.

Tracy Vandergriff and Jonathan Vickery said attorney Lawson did not appear intoxicated that night.

Heather McRoy said she was with attorney Lawson at the encounter with Ms. Burgess and said he did not slam her into a wall or fondle her.


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ALLMON, MELISSA LYNNE  1608 NORTH CHESTER ROAD HIXSON, 37343  Age at Arrest: 26 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County VIOLATION OF PROBATION (POSS. OF CONTROLLED SUBSTA --- ANDERSON, ANDREA AUSTIN  1109 COPPERWOOD DRIVE HIXSON, 37343  Age at Arrest: 31 years old Arresting ... (click for more)

Retired Police Chief Freeman Cooper Awarded Top Law Enforcement Honor

The Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police held its 2016 Annual Conference in Chattanooga.  This year’s Joe Casey Award went to Retired Chattanooga Police Chief Freeman Cooper. The award was presented by TACP Past President and Retired Metro Nashville Police Chief Joe Casey to Chief Cooper in the company of police chiefs and dignitaries from across the ... (click for more)

Pedestrians Have The Right Of Way - And Response (2)

Often I visit Gold's Gym at Chestnut and 4th Street. I  park in the theater parking lot at Broad and 4th Street.  I depend on the walk signs to get me there safely.  Most days I almost get hit by someone turning left or right coming from the exit ramp off 27 or turning right on 4th street from Chestnut. This happened yesterday as I was almost mowed down by a garbage ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Gold & Ivory Tablecloth

Not long ago, in my morning reading, I happened across an obscure tale about a special tablecloth. And, as things like this are more and more wont to do, I was instantly blessed by this story. As I tracked down its origin, I learned it originally appeared in a 1954 edition of Reader’s Digest. Written by the Rev. Howard C. Schade, who at the time was the pastor of the First Reformed ... (click for more)

McColley Scores 4 TDs As McCallie Crushes Blackman, 49-10

Senior running back Shawn McColley struck early and often Friday night, scoring McCallie’s first four touchdowns and propelling the Blue Tornado to a 49-10 rout of Blackman at Spears Stadium. Once the game started at 8 p.m. – there was a 30-minute lightning delay – the Blue Tornado needed just 60 seconds to get on the scoreboard. McColley did the honors from 10 yards out. ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Beats Tyner In Weather-Delayed Game, 25-7

The Tyner-Notre Dame football game finally ended early Saturday morning. After enduring a so-called weather delay that sent the two teams to their dressing rooms for almost two and a half hours, the home-standing Irish improved to 2-0 with the 25-7 non-district win at Notre Dame. Sophomore kicker Andy McMeen squibbed a line-drive kick 35 yards for a field goal with 2:10 ... (click for more)