Lawsuit: DA reaches too far

A lawsuit accusing Catawba, Burke and Caldwell County District Attorney Jay Gaither of sexual harassment was filed shortly before 5 p.m. on Thursday. The lawsuit was filed in Federal Court in Statesville.

The lawsuit, filed by Whitney Nicole Shaffer, who was a former assistant district attorney under Gaither, claims Gaither made sexual advances and groped her while she was working for him in April of 2013.

Shaffer is also the daughter of Lincoln and Cleveland County District Attorney Rick Shaffer.

The lawsuit gives details about the incident where Shaffer claims Gaither insisted she go with him to dinner. Afterwards, the lawsuit said, "He put his hand on the plaintiff's leg thigh and began to move his hand up her inner thigh."

The document claims she attempted to stop him.

To read more of this story, pick up the Friday edition of Catawba County's community newspaper, The Observer News Enterprise, at newsstands throughout the county.