Former college dean sues woman who sued him alleging sexual harassment

A former Dundalk Community College dean sued by a teacher who alleged sexual harassment has filed a countersuit against the woman, charging that his character was defamed and that he lost a top-level executive position he was to assume this month.

William Barry Shadrach, the school's former dean of administrative services, alleges in a suit filed recently in Baltimore County Circuit Court that Sharon L. Harsher falsely accused him of sending her anonymous notes containing sexually explicit language and vile suggestions.


He also denies her allegation that he placed foul-smelling organic material in her office telephone at the college's continuing studies division.

Mr. Shadrach's suit says the teacher's allegations "were intended to injure Mr. Shadrach in his profession and employment . . . and interfere with Mr. Shadrach's job opportunity with United Way of Central Maryland."


Mr. Shadrach, a longtime financial administrator, left the college to become vice president for administration and chief financial officer for United Way of Central Maryland. But he never assumed the position.

Judith Trest, United Way's vice president for marketing, said, "The decision was [that] he was not going to join the staff. It was a mutual decision."

Neither Mr. Shadrach nor his attorney, Kathleen Pontone, would comment on the suit.

Dr. Harsher filed a $1.5 million action against Mr. Shadrach, alleging that she was harassed from 1988 until shortly before Mr. Shadrach left the college. As dean in charge of finance, he controlled budget allocations and personnel matters at the campus.

The 10 members of the Board of Community College Trustees for Baltimore County and Martha Smith, the former president of the college who is now president of Anne Arundel Community College, also are named as defendants in Dr. Harsher's suit.