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Former top DOC doctor cleared after settlement in sexual harassment case

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BATON ROUGE - The former top doctor at the Department of Corrections, who was fired over sexual harassment allegations about four years ago, was cleared of wrongdoing after he reached a settlement with the department.

Dr. Raman Singh sued DOC for defamation after his firing in 2017. Documents show Singh and the department reached an agreement outside of court in recent weeks.

"I knew that I had not done it, but three years and nine months of struggle, darkness, oh my God... So I’m not going to say I feel relief, because healing is a slow process. But at least it’s the end of a chapter for us," Singh said.

Around the time of his firing, the WBRZ Investigative Unit obtained audio recordings that showed top DOC officials offered to make an informal harassment complaint against Singh disappear if he agreed to resign. Singh refused that deal and was later fired.

"Basically, (we're) giving you the opportunity that you can resign and have all this stuff go away," DOC Undersecretary Thomas Bickham was recorded saying. "I give you my word, there will be nothing in your folder, and you can use me as a reference."

As part of the settlement, the state will pay Singh $50,000. In a statement today, a DOC spokesperson claimed the lawsuit was settled for a "fraction" of the damages Singh sought. Read the full statement from the department below.

Raman Singh filed a meritless lawsuit against the Department after his employment was terminated in late 2017. The Department continues to reject any suggestion that it defamed Dr. Singh either during his employment or after. The Department is pleased that Dr. Singh has agreed to dismiss his remaining claims, with prejudice, in light of the Department’s stipulating that Dr. Singh had not engaged in conduct rising to the level of “sexual harassment.” That is a legal term with a specific definition. In the end, the Department was happy to resolve this case for a fraction of what Dr. Singh sought to recover in court so that the Department could return its focus to its core mission.

The Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections investigators recently participated in a 40 hour American Correctional Association investigation training for DOC investigators. In addition, the Department has also updated its protocol to include a secondary review quarterly at headquarters for all sexual harassment complaints and investigations filed within the Department.

The Singhs say they plan on giving the settlement money to different charities for sexual assault victims.


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