The Calista Regional Native Corporation is now involved in a second court case as its annual meeting approaches on Friday. Last month, the corporation sued its own former Board Chairman and requested an injunction to silence him. The judge dismissed that motion, but the lawsuit is still alive. Now, someone has sued Calista.
Business owner Tiffany Phillips claims that she was relentlessly sexually harassed by George Owletuck, a former executive at Calista, and mistreated by CEO Andrew Guy, who she says knew about the harassment but didn’t help her. Her attorneys filed a lawsuit against both men, as well as the Calista Corporation, on Tuesday afternoon.
According to her civil complaint, Phillips tried to sell her business to Calista in the summer of 2017. George Owletuck was her point of contact at the corporation, and Phillips’ attorneys write that Owletuck subjected her to “shocking and incessant” harassment. Phillips received over a thousand text messages from him. He is alleged to have sent her massage oils, Victoria's Secret underwear, and a six-page, handwritten love letter. The complaint states that Phillips repeatedly told Owletuck that their relationship was not romantic in any way. According to court documents, Owletuck also urged Phillips to inflate the value of her company to $50 million in her business proposal to Calista, even though her business is worth far less.
Phillips complained about Owletuck’s conduct to CEO Andrew Guy in a phone call on August 29, 2017. In a series of past statements, Guy and his representatives have insisted that Phillips never specifically told him that she was sexually harassed. Phillips says that just isn’t true. According to the complaint, she “went on to describe the nature of George Owletuck’s sexually suggestive communications with her, and told Mr. Guy about the shipments of Victoria's Secret products.”
Guy did not report Owletuck’s behavior to Calista’s Human Resources Department, but he did refer Phillips to a different person to work with at the corporation. The complaint claims that Phillips again raised the issue of Owletuck’s behavior on September 6, 2017, several weeks before Calista previously claimed she did. The complaint eventually resulted in an internal investigation into Owletuck's conduct and he was fired from the corporation last year.
In her lawsuit, Phillips’ attorneys claim that Guy's response to her complaint was both insufficient and violated Calista's Code of Business Ethics and Conduct. It also claims that Calista was negligent. The corporation discplined Owletuck repeatedly for harassing his coworkers, and Phillips' attorneys allege that Calista knew he posed a risk. Phillips requests that the court compensate her for her economic losses from the deal, as well as the emotional toll it took on her. She does not list a specific amount in damages.