UPDATE: Adams denies sexual harassment allegations

 Commissioner Gregory Adams cuts the ribbon at his first event March 23 at the Porter Sanford III Performing Arts and Community Center in Decatur.

“She knows what her big daddy likes.”

 Those are the alleged words DeKalb County Commissioner Gregory Adams told another DeKalb official while referring to his district director, Ashlee Wright.   

 In an interview with The Champion, Wright’s attorney, former DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James, said his client has text messages and audio proof of Adams’ alleged sexual harassment.

 “It’s important to note this is not he said she said…there’s audiotape conversations and text messages, so this is not a situation where we’re putting credibility against credibility,” James said. “I don’t believe that any person or any woman should have to endure sexual advances at work.”

 Wright is currently on paid administrative leave. She filed the claim through her attorneys with the county and with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in June, alleging that, during the course of her tenure in Adams’ office, he made inappropriate comments verbally and via text messages.

 Some of those messages include Adams making repeated requests to see photos of Wright in a bikini, according to the complaint.

 Wright also claims Adams sent her a text message while away on an out-of-town trip at 3:29 a.m. requesting to come to her room.

 “It’s inappropriate and wrong. I have three daughters, a wife, a mother and a sister in corporate America. As far as I’m concerned, [the evidence] is irrefutable and that’s what we’re dealing with,” James said.

 James said the county was notified of Wright’s complaint in June and launched an investigation. James’ law firm, Morriss, Shim & James, stated they had no response from the county and decided to make the complaint public.

 James said it is important to make the public aware of the allegations due to “public interests.” Wright, who worked for former DeKalb County Commissioner Sharon Barnes-Sutton, is seeking $750,000 from the county to settle out of court.

Wright claims she also feared for her job when Adams allegedly sent a message to her stating, “it’s either ride or die or goodbye.”

Adams denied the allegations, stating they are a ploy for Wright to finance a future in politics. Wright is currently running for Atlanta City Council District 9.

“She’s a liar and there’s two sides to every story. There’s no sexual harassment on my part. She may have desired me, and maybe I was naive to that fact, but I never came on to her,” Adams said. “I have no reason to lie or fabricate anything.”

Adams was elected last year in December to serve as commissioner for District 7. He is also a bishop at Restoration in Christ International Ministries.

In regards to the text messages and “big daddy” comment, Adams said they were taken out of context.

“I used that expression jokingly and said that all of my stuff was taken care of. It was humourous. The case at hand is one that is fabricated,” Adams said. “Anything can be doctored. You can take a text message out of context and make it sound bad or take a voice recording…but you need to get [the full context].”

Adams said his wife is in his presence “90 percent of the time.” He also claimed Wright never notified any other DeKalb officials about alleged misconduct in the office.

When asked if Wright ever mentioned to him that his behavior was inappropriate, he responded by saying, “Never. Never. Never.”

“I’m a man of God and I serve him as a preacher. There’s an underlying agenda here and someone got into her ear,” Adams said.

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