Toll Collectors Claim Harassment

by Copyright 2005 NBC10.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. | May 11, 2005
Toll Collectors Claim Harassment Some South Jersey toll collectors are leveling some serious charges against their co-workers.

The women claim that they have been sexually harassed on the job and they spoke only with NBC 10 News.

he four female Cape May County toll-booth attendants told very graphic stories of alleged sexual abuse by male colleagues.

"It was continuous, it was pornographic material, it was hardcore porn that was openly displayed, as well as viewed in front of us," said Maria Graham.

"Oh, it was hanging on the walls. We had calendars, pin-up calendars," said Geraldine Purcell.

Graham, Purcell and two other female co-workers are suing the county and the bridge commission alleging that the sexual abuse lasted for more than a decade.

They said that an unbelievable amount of hard-core pornography was delivered to the toll booths.

"There was a green truck that would come over on a daily basis, deliver the newspaper and also deliver theses porno magazines," Purcell said.

"There were stacks of it. It was hardcore. This wasn't just typical naked women, it was people engaged in sex acts. They were magazines and there was at least one other bridge that had videos," Graham said.

Graham said that her male colleagues even propositioned her for sex.

"One would routinely offer me money for sex. He would look at certain body areas and make certain comments (like), 'You're sitting on a gold mine,'" Graham said.

Purcell said that supervisors made advances, as well.

"I had one person in particular that would call me for overtime and would say. 'I love calling you for overtime because you have such a sexy voice,'" Purcell said.

The women said that when they complained, management and the union president tried to destroy the evidence.

However, the county's attorney said that three local agencies and the state's attorney general's office investigated the allegations.

"All four of those tribunals found these allegations to be not credible," said Robert Sandman, an attorney for Cape May County.

Sandman added that lawsuit is only about money.

"You have four women who are wrongfully trying to litigate a retirement parachute on the backs of the Cape May County taxpayer," Sandman said.

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Author: Copyright 2005 by NBC10.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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