South Side Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) filed a lawsuit Thursday against a former Chicago Public Schools principal who he claims tried to extort $1 million from him after falsely accusing him of sexual harassment.
Beale began receiving letters this year from the attorney for Dushon Brown, the former principal of Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep, accusing him of repeated unwanted sexual advances toward Brown; forcing her to perform oral sex; labeling her as promiscuous, and threatening to have her fired from her job at CPS.
The sexual misconduct is alleged to have taken place five years ago, according to Beale’s lawsuit.
Brown was principal at Brooks College Prep for six years, ending in 2012, according to CPS spokesman Joel Hood, who could provide no additional information about Brown’s employment history. Brooks is in Beale’s ward.
In one letter dated Dec. 15, which is included as evidence in Beale’s lawsuit, Dushon’s attorney asks for $1 million in damages.
“When I would not meet their demands to pay her $1 million, they decided to file a civil lawsuit against me to destroy my reputation, hurt my family and ruin my standing as an elected official,” Beale said in a statement.
“At no time have I ever said or done anything that can be interpreted as sexual harassment or inappropriate sexual conduct. At no time have I said or done anything that resulted in Ms. Brown losing her job as principal or thwarted her efforts to find a new job,” Beale said in the statement.
Beale’s attorney, Victor Henderson, said Beale ignored the letters “until it got to point where he needed to act.”
Neither Brown nor her attorney could be reached for comment.