Wood Village utility worker faces sexual harassment claim
A Wood Village city employee has been named in a retaliation and sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former female employee.
Kesha Villaca is seeking damages estimated at $268,500.
According to the lawsuit filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court, Villaca, 24, began working as a utility worker for the city in February 2019, and in July 2019 began a sexual relationship with her direct supervisor, Loren Wilton, 62.
The suit explains that Villaca ended the relationship about a month later, leading to retaliation by Wilton. She alleges that Wilton subjected her to "sexually explicit comments, behavior and touching."
Villaca reported Wilton to John Niiyama, director of public works, in September 2019. And, according to the lawsuit, it was at that time that Wilton escalated his retaliation.
The suit also alleges that Niiyama and City Manager Greg Dirks also began retaliation against Villaca by "blaming her for Wilton's actions." Villaca alleges she was asked for her resignation in November 2020, ending her employment at the city.
Wilton, however, remains on active employment for the city of Wood Village.
City Manager Dirks declined comment on the lawsuit, citing advice from legal counsel.
Villaca, who is represented by attorney Micah Fargey, is seeking an estimated $18,500 for the loss of earnings and benefits, which continue to accrue at the rate of $3,340 per month. She also seeks attorney fees and $250,000 for noneconomic damages.
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