A Summit County clerical employee caught masturbating at his desk is at the center of a new civil federal lawsuit filed by a former co-worker.

An administrative assistant who since has retired, Gabrielle Tyree, 70, filed the suit last week against the county and employee Andrew Baumann.

The civil suit alleges “sexual discrimination” and that the county failed to protect her from harassment. She is seeking $5 million in damages.

Tyree said that she saw Baumann, 39, touching himself when she delivered his mail in October 2011. He later admitted to supervisors that “he had inappropriately touched himself in his office on more than one occasion,” according to his personnel file.

Tyree said she was traumatized, had to seek psychological help and retired because of the incident, according to the suit.

The lawsuit says Fiscal Officer Kristen Scalise refused to discipline the worker until the woman obtained an attorney and that Baumann mocked the woman because of her age.

Personnel records indicate the woman complained to her supervisor Dec. 7 and Baumann was referred to a counseling program the same day.

In April, he also received a 10-day suspension that was suspended as long as he didn’t get in any work trouble over the next year.

Baumann, who worked in the delinquent-tax department at the time, since has been transferred to the county board of revision. He has worked for the county since April 1998.

Scalise said Monday that she hadn’t seen the lawsuit, but denied the claims against her.

“I vehemently deny all allegations,” she said. “I did not violate any laws and I followed all appropriate policies and procedures. And I will vigorously defend all claims in this, what I consider, frivolous lawsuit.”

Tyree started working for the county in April 1985. She was demoted in 2004 after she provided homestead exemptions to some property owners who didn’t deserve them, according to personnel records.

Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or rarmon@thebeaconjournal.com.