*The fur is still flying for Sharon Song Byrd, who continues to “call out” Tony Wafford, the West Coast Director of the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network.
Byrd, who recently won a sexual harassment and battery lawsuit against Wafford, went back to court to file a civil suit against him. Byrd said that since filing the civil lawsuit, Wafford is now accusing her of attempting to “shake” him down for money.
“Wafford said I want money, that I’m suing him to get money out of him. That’s totally untrue,” said Byrd in an exclusive interview with EUR. “The truth is, he should pay for what he’s done to me, because I have inoperable damage in my hand.”
Byrd’s hand was damaged when Wafford’s diamond ring severely injured her after she refused his sexual advances.
Byrd and her attorney, Jeffrey W. Cowan, will back in court Monday morning seeking a ruling in their favor for monetary damages against Wafford.
Byrd worked as a program administrator at the Palms Residential Center in Los Angeles where Wafford ran Los Angeles County-funded AIDS/HIV program. She said Wafford continued to make sexual advancements towards her and even showed up at her home unannounced. She resigned from her job in December 2007 and filed the lawsuit against Wafford in January 2008.
Byrd contends that Wafford kept the sexual harassment lawsuit “secret” from Rev. Al Sharpton, who after news broke about the allegations this week issued a response to the lawsuit through his publicist. The statement revealed that Sharpton had not been advised of any of the allegations against Mr. Wafford.
Byrd also believes that Sharpton’s colleague, pastor K. W. Tulloss, who is in line to replace Wafford as the West Coast director of the National Acton Network, was aware of the lawsuit against Wafford but “failed” to tell Sharpton.
“Pastor Tulloss emailed me, but I said I could not talk to him because I had a lawsuit against Tony Wafford. So, he knew. Why didn’t he feel obligated to tell Al Sharpton? Because they were using the old boy’s network to hide the truth. They wanted to keep it under wraps. I believe they hid this lawsuit from Sharpton,” Byrd declared. “They didn’t know it was going to go this far.”
Byrd believes there are other women whom Wafford has sexually harassed in the past. “I believe that he (Wafford) has done this before. I’m hoping they (the women) will come out,” she said.
Byrd said that Wafford is currently “venting” in public, but “he’s not letting the public know what’s really going on. He’s getting caught in a web of lies. These are not things that I have made up,” said Byrd about her sexual harassment case, adding that she received a unanimous verdict from the jury. “There’s not one juror who took the side of Tony Wafford,” she declared.
In the meantime, Wafford, who fired his lawyer, plans to return to court on Monday at 10 a.m. to plead his case.
Incensed about Wafford’s treatment of Byrd, a coalition of African American women’s groups under the umbrella of the Black Women’s Network have called for Wafford’s resignation and have also threatened Sharpton with a possible boycott of his radio sponsors if demands are not met.
Byrd said she was unaware that the BWN is demanding that Wafford resign from his post.
“I think now that Al Sharpton knows what’s going on, he’ll be obligated to do something. But I’m in no way trying to hurt, blame or damage Al Sharpton,” said Byrd.