COLUMBIA, S.C. — The insurance fund used by the state of South Carolina has paid more than $120,000 to settle the first of several lawsuits against a county recreation agency and its director.

Andrea James was paid $53,000 for her lawsuit against the Richland County Recreation Commission for harassment suffered when she was the agency’s chief financial officer, according to records from the Insurance Reserve Fund.

The records also show lawyers were paid $67,509 to defend against James’ lawsuit, The State newspaper reported.

James said in court papers the agency’s director James Brown III pressured her to have sex and retaliated when she complained.

“I have never had a woman turn me down,” James said Brown told her in papers filed with her lawsuit. “I can’t figure you out. You’re a challenge.”

Brown retired last year and is currently facing misconduct in office and witness intimidation charges.

But before he retired from his $152,000-a-year job and was charged, Brown was given a vote of confidence from the commission’s board and told James he was “the most powerful man in South Carolina and could not be touched,” according to her lawsuit.

At least three other former employees of the commission have filed similar suits.

The Insurance Reserve Fund offers insurance to a number of government agencies in South Carolina.

Information from: The State,

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