Saturday, November 01, 2014

Lawsuit By Former Employee Accuses Prominent Fort Wayne Businessman And GOP Donor Of Sexual Assault

Dye (left) with Gov. Mike Pence during Red Coat Award Ceremony presented by the Mad Anthonys this year
One of Fort Wayne's most successful businessmen and largest Republican donor, Bruce Dye, stands accused of sexually assaulting a former female employee of one of his companies according to a tawdry lawsuit the woman has filed against him in Allen Superior Court according to the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette. Dye is the founder of Heritage Food Service Group, Inc. and Hotel Fitness, both highly-successful, privately-held Fort Wayne companies.

According to the lawsuit filed by Kathy Gonya, she began working for Dye's Heritage Food Service in 1996. Between August 2012 and January 2013 when Gonya worked as an executive assistant for Dye's Brigadoon Financial, she alleges that he forced her into sexual acts with him on numerous occasions. Gonya's lawsuit claims she first informed Marilyn "Mimi" Lahr, Brigadoon Financial's president and her sister, in October 2012 that she had been raped by Dye. Gonya left the company in October 2013 after she alleges Dye fired her in retaliation for reporting the alleged sexual assaults.

Dye, who is represented by Allen Co. GOP Chairman Steve Shine, has filed a counter-claim against Gonya for defamation. Dye's countersuit claims he had a consensual sexual relationship with Gonya dating back several years, including a time before her husband died in 2009, noting she never reported any of the alleged assaults to law enforcement. His countersuit says the two experienced a "loss of connection" in 2012 and their sexual relationship ended. Dye accuses Gonya of timing the filing of her lawsuit at the same time of the Hotel Fitness-sponsored PGA tour in August at Sycamore Hills. Dye is seeking $1 million in damages each to himself and his Brigadoon Financial. Dye claims that Gonya contacted him through his attorney and requested a payment of $1.5 million before filing her claim against him.

Two days after Gonya filed her suit, Shine filed a motion with the court to seal the case's records. The Journal-Gazette sought to intervene in the suit to contest Shine's motion to seal. Shine withdrew his motion to seal on Friday after Judge David Avery, granted permission to the Journal-Gazette to intervene.

Dye has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Republican Party and its candidates over the past several years. He contributed $101,000 to the Allen Co. Republican Party just this year alone. He has contributed at least $90,000 each to the Indiana State Republican Party and the House Republican Campaign Committee. Dye contributed over $30,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee during the 2012 election cycle

1 comment:

LamLawIndy said...

Steve Shine's an excellent attorney from what I've seen. If he's filed a defamation claim on behalf of his client, it's because he believes that he can prove it. Dye is represented by Calvert Miller, who I'm told is also a very skilled litigator. This is either going to get settled or a tawdry trial is going to happen. I'm thinking the former...