MAMARONECK, N.Y. - Sexual harassment, and intimidation aren't typically associated with the wholesome Archie Comics series, but they are the subject of a lawsuit filed against co-CEO Nancy Silberkleit that has temporarily banned her from the Mamaroneck offices.
On Tuesday, a federal judge issued the restraining order on Silberkleit for violating a previous court order that limited her role in the company to "specified matters" and that prohibited her from communicating with employees or vendors, according to complaint Archie Comics filed with the Supreme Court of the State of New York June 7, 2011.
The complaint stated that Jonathan Goldwater, also co-CEO, received letters from employees complaining about "threats being made by Silberkleit against the employee's livelihood," and "alleging inappropriate and offensive language and behavior making off-color jokes and commenting on employees' physical attributes or characteristics." The complaint alleged it amounted to sexual harassment.
In response, on June 24, Goldwater asked the human resources consulting firm HR Innovations to investigate. They found that, "there is a serious problem in the company and prompt action should be taken to correct the problem." They recommended Silberkleit no longer work there.
Silberkleit was hired as the company's co-Chief Executive Officer March 26, 2009, replacing her late husband. The suit, filed by Goldwater Jan. 17, seeks to remove her from that post, which she still holds at this point.
The New York Post reported Silberkleit denied the allegations and called the suit a smear campaign at Tuesday's hearing.
In his complaint, Goldwater cited Silberkleit's national literacy tour visiting 16 states during the summer of 2011 that cost $100,000 and produced less than $10,000. Goldwater claims he terminated it, but that Silberkleit refused to accept his decision and pursued the project. The national tour's last stop was at the Mamaroneck Spooktacular Oct. 23.
The matter wasn't resolved Tuesday, and both sides are due back in court Feb. 2.
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