Charlotte businesswoman claims city permit was terminated after sexual advances were denied

Charlotte businesswoman claims city permit was terminated after sexual advances were denied
(Alex Giles/WBTV)

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A Charlotte businesswoman believes her permit filed with the City of Charlotte was terminated because she refused sexual advances allegedly made by a supervisor at the Charlotte Water department.

Deanne Jenkins and her husband manage S&D Environmental Resources.

She said that her and her employees service schools, restaurants and hotels in the Charlotte area.

The company pumps grease interceptors and then pays to dispose of the grease.

Jenkins said that her and her husband have owned and operated the business for nine years without any problems, but that all changed this year.

The business owner said that in early 2018 her vendors started to inform her that her company was no longer permitted to haul grease in the city.

She said she then got a letter from Charlotte Water stating that S&D Environmental Resources had violated their grease hauler permit several times.

Several of the violations listed in the letter are for "failure to follow grease handling and hauling program operation procedures."

The other violations are for "falsification of maintenance, pumping or cleaning reports".

The letter from Charlotte Water states that the company's permit has been terminated because of the violations. It also orders S&D Environmental Resources to pay several fines totaling $24,985.

"We've never had a problem in any other county at all and we operate in 13 counties," Jenkins said Thursday night.

She said the termination of the permit hurts the business significantly because 90 percent of the vendors they service are in Mecklenburg County.

"It has been very stressful and frustrating," said Jenkins.

She thinks the reason her company's permit was terminated is because she refused alleged sexual advances made by a manager in charge of permitting at the Charlotte Water facility.

Jenkins said the incident happened in February of 2017 after she was asked to bring documents to the manager's office.

"The supervisor at Charlotte Water made advances towards me and stated that he could make or break our business," said Jenkins.

She said she immediately left the manager's office after the advance was made.

Now Jenkins and her husband have contacted an attorney, Alonzo Alston, to help them fight for their permit.

Alston said he has filed a 'Demand For Hearing' letter with the City of Charlotte, but no hearing has happened yet.

"This case is all about sexual harassment, sexual misconduct and abuse of power," Alston told WBTV. "It's extremely concerning that they would lose their business and have a $24,985 fine because of one man's ego and bad acts."

Charlotte Communications and Marketing sent WBTV the following statement in response to questions about the situation.

The City of Charlotte does not tolerate harassment of any kind and thoroughly investigates allegations of wrongdoing. Beyond this, the city does not comment on personnel matters.

Alston said his main goal is to get Jenkins' permit for Mecklenburg County back so the family can continue doing business around Charlotte.

He said they have not ruled out filing suit.

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