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Fact Check: Scott Jones Faces Questions Over Accusations of Sexual Harassment

Multiple fact checkers - including Politifact - have ruled Jones’ statements on matter “False” 

JONES CLAIM: 

Scott Jones just claimed that a female deputy who worked under him was lying when she testified under oath that he had sexually harassed her 30 times while he was her supervisor. The facts cast doubt on Jones’ version of the story. 
 
THE FACTS: 
 

  • While under oath, a 26-year-old deputy accused Scott Jones, her superior, of unwanted sexual advances. The deputy stated these 30 inappropriate encounters occurred from 2003 to 2005 while she worked in the county jail’s law library. She stated she was afraid she might face retaliation for speaking out.
     
  • Jones admits that he kissed the deputy, and that he used his influence to move her into the inmate law library.
     
  • In 2008, after Jones had spotted the deputy on the street, he emailed to contact her. She replied that she did not with to be his friend, and that their relationship had been “inappropriate” and “toxic.”
     
  • Both Politifact California and the Bee’s Poligraph have found Jones’ statements about what transpired in court regarding these allegations to be “false.” 

BACKGROUND: 

The Sacramento Bee first reported the deputy’s allegations in July: 

Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones was accused of making unwanted sexual advances toward a subordinate, activity he denied in a sworn statement, according to newly uncovered court documents from a lawsuit against the Sheriff’s Department claiming retaliation. 

Tosca Olives, at the time a 26-year-old sheriff’s deputy, said Jones, then a sergeant in legal affairs, was acting as her unofficial supervisor in the law library of the Main Jail in 2003. She said the contact started with Jones rubbing her shoulders while she took work-related phone calls. 
… 
All told, Olives claimed about 30 inappropriate encounters from 2003 to 2005. She said in the excerpts that Jones rubbed her shoulders and on four occasions put his hands under her shirt. She said that one time, when she asked him to stop, Jones responded by saying “stop being so tempting.” 

The deputy also stated she was fearful of retaliation: 

Olives said she spoke with an attorney about Jones’ conduct and decided against a lawsuit because the activity extended beyond the statute of limitations. Olives said she was afraid she might receive retaliation for speaking out against the sheriff.

Jones also admitted that he and the deputy kissed, that he used his influence to move her into the law library which he helped supervise, and that he emailed her years later. In response to his email, she stated she did not wish to be his friend and called their relationship “toxic.”  

And multiple fact-checkers -- including Politifact California -- have questioned Jones’ claim the deputy’s allegations were dismissed without merit. 

Sacramento Bee, Poligraph: FALSE 8/11/2016 “But Jones is misleading when he says the court’s dismissal included ‘the unfounded’ allegations of the deputy. Nothing in the court record indicates the judge passed judgment on the merits of Olives’ accusations.”

Politifact California: FALSE 10/17/16 “Republican congressional candidate Scott Jones recently claimed that allegations he made unwanted sexual advances on a young, female sheriff’s deputy ‘were found by two separate judges to not have merit.’…We rate Jones’ statement False.” 
 

The Bee has also editorialized that Jones’ version of the story has failed to stand up to questions: 
 

Think of your own employer. How many entry-level, 26-year-old employees there believe that sexually kissing supervisors is something people do at the office? In what universe would your female co-worker ever throw off a suit jacket and sexually touch herself for her manager’s edification? 

Now think of how most workplaces would react to such conduct, again, imagining Jones’ account is the true one. The manager would run, not walk, to the human resources department. The employee would be written up and sent off for counseling, if not suspension.  
 

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