$18M Lawsuit Filed Against CEO - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

$18M Lawsuit Filed Against CEO

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ALEXANDRIA, La. – Nine African-American employees at CLECO Corporation filed an $18-million lawsuit Wednesday for retaliation and harassment against the company's current president and CEO Bruce Williamson.

The plaintiffs are seeking a minimum of $35 million in general and punitive damages from CLECO. The court case was filed in the Western District of Louisiana in Shreveport on Aug. 1.

According to a press release, the plaintiffs, who are currently suing CLECO for $35 million in an employment discrimination case, say that Williamson wrote a letter to them that threatened to punish them for pursuing their grievance against the utility company.

Albert Van Lare, the attorney for the plaintiffs, say Williamson allegedly wrote the letter in December 2011 "for the purpose of intimidating the plaintiffs to settle for a lowball amount."

"He was using his position as CEO to threaten and intimidate the plaintiffs into settling their claims for mere pittance. This is a violation of federal law," Van Lare said.

In a statement to News Channel 5, a CLECO spokesperson says the company believes the lawsuit has no merit and they will continue to follow through with the legal process.


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