CURRITUCK, N.C. (WAVY) – The former Chief Financial Officer of Currituck County Schools is suing her former employer and the district’s current superintendent for at least $2 million, claiming sexual harassment and wrongful termination.
Larissa York filed the federal lawsuit this week through her husband and attorney, Thomas York.
York was CFO for two years until she was terminated in July 2021.
She says about four months earlier, Superintendent Matthew Lutz called her into a private meeting, locked the door, and grabbed her rear, and she could feel his face and breath on her neck.
“There was the initial groping and grabbing of her. [And then] it was where he would brush against her or have other somewhat offensive contact with her,” Thomas York said in a Friday interview, and claims that the groping incident was only part of a pattern.
“There was a continued effort to try to get her isolated, so she could be victimized. [Lutz] would ask to meet her and it wouldn’t be in the normal course of work. He’d ask her to stay late, come in early,” Thomas York said.
And when Larissa York refused to welcome her boss’s alleged advances, she says she felt retribution.
“Then she’d be accused of not doing her job, or she wasn’t putting enough hours in,” her husband said.
The lawsuit also alleges that the superintendent told York about an affair he had with an Assistant Principal.
The superintendent responded to the lawsuit with a statement:
“I have and will continue to vehemently deny the false accusations made by Larissa York and her husband and attorney Tom York. I, along with my wife and family, appreciate the outpouring of kindness, love and support shared with us during this difficult time period. The judicial process will be lengthy and we have full faith the truth will be revealed and justice served.”
The Currituck County School Board acknowledged the lawsuit with this statement:
“Following the termination of Larissa York’s employment with the Currituck County School System,
Ms. York for the first time made allegations against the Superintendent, which he adamantly
denies. Ms. York was afforded an opportunity for a fair and impartial hearing before the Board of
Education to review her concerns but declined to participate. We are in the process of reviewing Ms. York’s lawsuit, and the Board will respond through the court filings.”
Thomas York said the two-hour time limit for that hearing was not enough time to present his wife’s case.
“She can’t even get an interview now, because she’s honest. She puts on the forms. where the forms say ‘Were you asked to resign, were you terminated?’ and she’s not going to lie,” he said. “And now her whole career is completely destroyed because once word gets around to the other school districts – even if they believe her – they probably don’t want to get into the middle of this mess.”