Consulting firm that works with Nikki Haley faces sexual harassment lawsuit | ET REALITY

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A consulting firm that has worked extensively with Nikki Haley and her political action committee is facing a lawsuit from a former employee who claims that an executive sexually assaulted her and that other executives failed to take appropriate action and retaliated against her in response.

The firm, ColdSpark, helped Ms. Haley start her advocacy group, Stand for America, and also provided consulting services for her presidential campaign; It’s her job with her is highlighted as a “case study” on their website. Stand for America and affiliated entities have paid the company more than $87,000 this year, and Haley’s campaign has paid it more than $33,000, according to campaign finance records.

The lawsuit was filed in August in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania and was first reported by Politico on Monday.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff went to a restaurant on December 14, 2021 with two of her supervisors, Tyler Hargrave and Ryan Reynolds, both vice presidents of ColdSpark, as well as the founder, Michael DeVanney. She says that after Mr. Hargrave and Mr. DeVanney left the restaurant, Mr. Reynolds touched her under the table.

The lawsuit says the plaintiff, who was an account manager at ColdSpark, reported the assault to Mr. Hargrave the next morning. Mr. Hargrave, it says, “told the plaintiff that Reynolds was a ‘good guy'” and “took no corrective action.” He says Mr. DeVanney also was aware of the allegations and also failed to act.

ColdSpark spokesman Jeremy Neuhart said all defendants denied the allegations and the company was unaware of them until the plaintiff resigned. He added that Mr. Hargrave and Mr. Reynolds no longer worked for ColdSpark, and that Mr. DeVanney was not involved in the firm’s work with Ms. Haley or Stand for America.

In a statement to Politico, Mr. Reynolds called the accusations Against them they were “frivolous” and said they had “no merit.” And he added: “The facts will confirm it.”

Haley’s campaign and Stand for America did not immediately respond to requests for comment Monday. Neither did attorneys for the plaintiff or the individual defendants. Attempts to contact the plaintiff were unsuccessful.

The plaintiff quit her job after ColdSpark continued to require her to work with Mr. Reynolds, according to the lawsuit.

She is suing for monetary damages, accusing ColdSpark of violating the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by discriminating against her on the basis of sex, retaliating against her for reporting those violations, and creating a “ abusive and hostile work environment.” ”That effectively forced her to resign. The lawsuit also accuses Mr. Reynolds, Mr. Hargrave and Mr. DeVanney of “aiding and abetting” ColdSpark, and Mr. Reynolds of intentionally inflicting emotional distress.

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