Ann Maher Apr. 22, 2014, 2:47pm

Former Madison County Sheriff’s Department employee Jaimie Linton has been ordered to amend her sexual harassment complaint against Sheriff Robert Hertz and the County because the suit she filed last November failed to establish that federal court is the appropriate jurisdiction.

U.S. District Judge Michael Reagan set a May 21 deadline for Linton to amend her complaint.

Reagan’s April 22 order also moots a motion for extension of time to respond to the allegations that attorney John Gilbert of Edwardsville filed on behalf of the defendants on April 17.

The amended complaint will trigger a new deadline for response.

Linton seeks $2 million in compensatory and punitive damages claiming Hertz engaged in a pattern of abusive, harassing and “totally inappropriate” workplace behavior towards her “because she never accepted his inappropriate and unsolicited romantic advances in the work place and/or in her offwork hours.”

She is represented by attorney Eric Rhein of Belleville.

Hertz and the Sheriff’s Department face another lawsuit brought last November by officer Eric Decker who claims Hertz conducted an unwarranted and unauthorized search of his phone records. Decker also says he was retaliated against for protesting the alleged harassment of Linton.

Gilbert also represents the defendants in Decker’s lawsuit.

On March 11, Gilbert filed a response, denying the allegations.

Attorney Lee Barron of Alton represents Decker. He seeks in excess of $50,000 in compensatory damages and in excess of $75,000 in punitive damages.

U.S. District Judge David Herndon presides over Decker’s case.

After the lawsuits were filed in November, Hertz denied the allegations in a prepared statement.

“These allegations are completely false,” he said. “They are an insult to my family, my reputation, and my life’s work, and I will clear my name in court with everyone, hopefully, testifying truthfully under oath.”

Lakin has served as Sheriff since 2002. He was defeated in the March Democratic primary by former Chief Deputy Sheriff and current Glen Carbon Police Chief John Lakin. His term expires in December.

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