A former employee has filed a harassment claim against Fifth District Supervisor Jeff Hewitt and his Chief of Staff Boomer Shannon.
The claim, submitted by Brenda Dennstedt on April 8, alleges that Hewitt and Shannon, made "disparaging and vulgar comments." Dennstedt also alleges that Hewitt and Shannon engaged in age discrimination in her wrongful discharge, which caused further damages. The incident in question dates back to Oct. 26, 2020.
Dennstedt's profile can still be seen on the staff section of Hewitt's official website. She is listed as the Legislative Assistant & Public Safety Liaison.
Dennstedt claims the damages from the ongoing emotional trauma and harassment exceed $25,000.
The Board of Supervisors will further discuss this new harassment claim during Tuesday's meeting.
Hewitt has not issued a public statement on the matter. Shannon told the Press Enterprise that neither he or Hewitt can comment on ongoing investigations.
Dennstedt's claim comes just two months after Riverside County reached a $50,000 settlement agreement with another former employee who filed a sexual harassment claim against Hewitt.
That claim was submitted by Nasim Hamrang on Nov. 13 2020.
Hamrang alleged that Hewitt sexually harassed her on May 15, 2020 while participating on a SOS Team at a skilled nursing facility in Cherry Valley. Several witnesses were listed on the claim, including a member of the county's Behavioral Health Department & two EMTs.
Supervisor Chuck Washington argued with Hewitt about the settlement during this past Tuesday's supervisor meeting. Washington called for Hewitt to reimburse taxpayers for the settlement as the money came from taxpayer funds. Hewitt said he was not aware of the claim until he was told by District 4 Supervisor Manuel Perez.
"I have been shrouded in secrecy more than anyone on here," Hewitt said. "When then-Chair Perez came to me and said, 'You've got a claim against you,' I had no idea who it was for months and months."
Hewitt continued, "Through this entire ordeal, I've had little to nothing to do with anything. And you [Supervisor Washington] going around assuming I did something really bothers me too. And how dare you ask me to come up to pay that kind of thing when I had nothing to do with the way it was settled or anything else."
Hewitt represents District 5 of Riverside County, this includes Calimesa, Banning, Beaumont, Perris, Menifee, and Moreno Valley.