Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis emphatically denied sexual harassment accusations against himself and other county officials at a press conference Wednesday while playing a recording that he claimed proves his innocence.
“What’s in that lawsuit is a bunch of lies. It needs to be known. Time to set the record straight and that’s what we’re doing,” said Willis, according to NBC 5.
He went on to exclaim it was “a lawsuit full of lies. A lawsuit full of false, defamatory, and outrageous claims.”
Alongside Willis, First Assistant District Attorney Bill Wirskye, County Judge Chris Hill, and four county commissioners were named in the suit.
The complaint alleges that Willis “treats many female employees as objects that, without their consent, must gratify his sexual impulses and personal vanity.”
Wirskye is accused in the complaint of running the office as “a crass, misogynistic fraternity complete with systemic hazing of the county’s attorneys, investigators and staff.”
The suit further alleges that County Judge Hill and other county commissioners “have known of this misconduct for years but have continued to enable it by refusing to take remedial action or even conduct a reasonable investigation.”
Willis’ press conference, however, focused on an encounter back in May 2021 he allegedly had with former prosecutor Fallon LaFleur, one of the plaintiffs in the suit.
LaFleur claimed that after she told Willis of alleged abuses perpetrated by Wirskye and his staff, Willis denied knowing about such accusations, despite receiving a letter in 2019 describing Wirskye as a bully who intentionally tried to intimidate employees.
She claimed that at the end of the encounter, Willis gave her a “full-frontal hug while her arms were stiff beside her body. He rubbed her lower back with his hands and pressed her breasts against him,” according to the complaint.
However, Willis recorded the encounter with LaFleur and played the recording at the press conference.
He stated, “The plaintiff further claims that I was moaning aloud and groping her, gratifying myself. You just heard the recording. Did you hear me moan?”
“She said that I subjected her to an unwelcomed, full-frontal hug when, in fact, the audio shows that she was the one that asked me if she could give me a hug,” Willis stated.
He said he recorded the exit interview out of concern he was being set up.
Jeff Simon, an attorney for the plaintiffs, responded to the press conference by pointing out that the employee handbook for the county prohibits secret recording anywhere in the District Attorney’s Office.
Simon stated, “While neither Ms. LaFleur nor her legal counsel has heard the audio, the fact that Mr. Willis appears to have tried to secretly set her up in the event she later exposed his behavior is again entirely consistent with the conduct alleged against him.”