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Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News
Email: pmurphy@wwltv.com | Twitter: @pmurphywwl

JEFFERSON, La. -- A former Jefferson Parish department head is accusing JP President John Young of hiding the truth about her sexual harassment claims.

Wednesday, former Emergency Preparedness Director Heather Hilliard appeared before the parish council. She claims her boss at the time, Deputy Chief Operating Officer Richard Hart, subjected her to a pattern of workplace harassment.

'I complained over 25 times in writing about the treatment received from Richard Hart and members of John Young's administration,' Hilliard told the council. 'After four months of complaining, my supervisor was my tormentor.'

Hilliard filed a federal lawsuit against the parish, Hart and Jefferson Parish President John Young.

She told the parish council her repeated complaints about Hart's alleged 'crude and sexist remarks' got her demoted and then fired.

'There are 103 email chains of demotions of duty, gender discrimination against me, harassment and hostile work environment in writing.'

Hilliard also claims that Young used his personal email account to discuss Hilliard's complaints and directed his staff to do the same.

Late Wednesday evening the Young administration sent Eyewitness News an email that they say indicated it was Richard Hart, not the parish president, that suggested that matters concerning Heather Hilliard should be kept off any jeffparish.net address.

The email reads: 'Please ask him to send me a resume so I can start a file on him for John. Please remind him we currently have an incumbent in that position so keep all communications about this sensitive and off any jeffparish.net address.'

You can read the email here.

Hilliard had filed a public records request for the private email.

She asked the parish council to make sure Young and others turn over the documents.

'I strongly suggest John Young is hiding something in his personal emails that dealt with personal business. I'm asking for your help to get this information, this public information.'

Richard Hart was allowed to resign in February.

Young issued the following statement:

'Ms. Hilliard's statement that it was my e-mail is a blatant untruth.'

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