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Lawyer: Deposition gave wrong info in sexual harassment case

A student who was kicked out of a North Carolina nursing school after reporting sexual harassment filed her complaint before she got a bad review and not afterward as an administrator has claimed, according to a deposition in a lawsuit filed by the ex-student.
The deposition was filed in January in the case of Autumn Davis, who sued in state and federal court after she was dismissed from the doctor of nursing program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro a month before graduation. Her lawsuit is supported by the Times Up legal fund.
A recording played at the deposition shows Davis complained to two administrators about being sexually harassed two weeks earlier than one of the officials, Dr. Nancy Shedlick, first said she did in her deposition.
The deposition is part of a motion filed by attorney Nicholas Sanservino asking that the state Department of Justice withdraw from defending two nursing school leaders because it argues the two acted outside their duties as state employees in their dealings with Davis.
Davis has sued Shedlick and Stone in state court and sued the school, the UNC Board of Governors and the Raleigh School of Nurse Anesthesia in federal court.
Davis has previously told The Associated Press that the sexual harassment began less than a year after she enrolled in UNCG’s doctor of nursing program August 2015 with hopes of becoming a nurse anesthetist. She was assigned to work at WakeMed Raleigh Hospital under the supervision of a male certified registered nurse anesthetist.
Davis said his harassment grew during each encounter until one shift, as she used both her hands to intubate patients, “he would put himself on me while he was aroused,” she said in the interview.
Shedlick said in her Dec. 11, 2019, deposition that Davis didn’t complain about the harassment until Aug. 8, 2016, 10 days after after the male supervisor, Jimmy Kimball Jr., gave Davis an evaluation with unsatisfactory ratings.
But a recording showed that Davis had complained to Shedlick and Stone on July 25, 2016 — days before Kimball gave the unsatisfactory evaluation on July 29. His previous evaluation for her work on July 19, contained no unsatisfactory ratings.
After the recording was played, the deposition shows that Shedlick said she believed it was “literally impossible” for the sexual harassment to occur as Davis described, because Kimball “has a very large abdomen.”
Isabel Alele, the attorney for Kimball — who is not a defendant — declined to comment.
The lawsuit says Shedlick and Stone continued a campaign of harassment against Davis until they kicked her out of school, including mocking her in front of other students because she suffers from ADHD.
She was dismissed from the school in June 2018, one month before she was to graduate. The school said she was dismissed for unsafe nursing practices. She was reinstated in January 2019 after paying $10,000 for tuition and then was dismissed again in February 2019, once again for unsafe nursing practices.
The school reported her to the state Board of Nursing. On Sept. 10, 2018, a nursing board sent a letter saying said it had investigated and declined to tak action. Despite that, UNCG upheld Davis’ dismissal .
In response to the federal lawsuit filed in August, the state attorney general’s office said Davis can’t prove a connection between her dismissal and the filing of her harassment claim. The response also said Davis provides no evidence that the state defendants had authority over Kimball.
The lawsuits seek unspecified damages.
The attorney general’s office is reviewing the motion, a spokeswoman said in an email. A deposition is scheduled for Kimball for early February and a hearing on the motion is scheduled for later in the month, Sanservino said.
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Follow Martha Waggoner on Twitter at http://twitter.com/mjwaggonernc

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