Lawsuit: New Haven supervisor falsely accused worker of sexting male genitalia

NEW HAVEN, Conn (WTNH) — A bombshell lawsuit against the city of New Haven lays bare claims of sexual harassment and retaliation directed at a male employee of the Department of Public Works by his female supervisor.

Edward Cloud claims in the legal action that he was falsely accused by Honda Smith of sexting her a picture of his male genital, resulting in “severe embarrassment and humiliation.”  Smith then reportedly showed the picture to more than a dozen of Cloud’s co-workers, which caused him to be taunted and nicknamed “Little Winky,” according to court documents.

Attorney William S. Palmieri is representing Cloud in the lawsuit.  He sat down only with News 8’s Mario Boone.  Palmieri said instead of disciplining Smith, DPW leaders punished Cloud with a “significantly less desirable” job assignment, resulting in loss compensation, and “rewarded Smith by increasing her duties and status to those of a supervisor.”

Related: Capitol Report ‘After Hours’: What can be done as sexual harassment allegations hit Washington?

A preliminary investigative report obtained only by News 8 shows DPW found “sufficient information to substantiate further investigation” of Smith.  But Palmieri says no follow up investigation was ever conducted.  New Haven DPW also determined through a Sprint account manager that Smith’s cell phone “cannot receive text messages.”

Still, Palmieri claims no action was taken against Smith.

News 8 tracked down Smith, who denied all the allegations.  She also confirmed she is still employed in the same capacity with DPW.

“No, I did not lie and make up any story,” Smith said.  When pressed as to whether she sexually harassed Cloud she replied, “no!”

News 8 reached out to Mayor Toni Harp repeatedly for a comment on this case.  A city spokesman declined citing the pending litigation.

Cloud tells us he did win his job back, but is still suffering taunts over the picture.  He says his reputation has been ruined because of this scandal.

Click here to read the full complaint.

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