DHR heads seek dismissal of sex crimes lawsuit

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – A Shelby County judge will decide in late October if he will dismiss a lawsuit brought against the Shelby County Department of Human Resources claiming a former DHR employee forced a client to perform sex acts on him in exchange for “not taking her kids.”

Daniel

Daniel

The lawsuit was filed by G. Courtney French of the Fuston, Petway and French law firm on behalf of a female DHR client. The lawsuit names 30-year-old Pelham resident and former DHR worker Brandon Daniel, Shelby County DHR supervisor Rasheda Gulley and Shelby County DHR Director Kim Mashego as defendants.

In the lawsuit, the woman claims Daniel visited her home in Alabaster on Aug. 20, 2013, without an appointment and “demanded that the plaintiff allow him to ‘inspect the house.’”

The lawsuit claims Daniel returned to the woman’s house the next day and “demanded that the plaintiff allow him to specifically ‘inspect the bedroom.’”

Daniel then allegedly closed the bedroom door, began kissing the woman’s neck and “demanded that the plaintiff offer him ‘something in return for not taking her kids,’” the lawsuit alleged. Daniel then forced the woman to perform sex acts on him, the lawsuit claims.

The suit also claims Gulley and Mashego “failed to properly hire, train and supervise” Daniel, and claimed they “negligently and wantonly allowed Daniel … to act beyond his authority or under a mistaken interpretation of the law as a DHR worker.”

In a Sept. 18 motion filed in Shelby County Civil Court, Daniel, who also is facing felony criminal charges in the alleged incident, denied the allegations against him.

In a separate Sept. 18 motion, Gulley and Mashego asked Judge Hewitt Conwill to dismiss the lawsuit, claiming Daniel “was acting outside the line and scope of his employment” with DHR during the alleged incident.

“Unless Daniel was working in the line and scope of his employment, Gulley and Mashego cannot be held liable for Daniel’s actions,” read the motion, claiming Mashego and Gulley are immune from the claims in the lawsuit.

Conwill is scheduled to make a ruling on the motion to dismiss the lawsuit during an Oct. 29 hearing at the Shelby County Courthouse at 9 a.m.