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EAST ST. LOUIS • A former secretary for Madison County Sheriff Robert Hertz has sued him in federal court on claims of sexual harassment.

The woman, Jaimie Linton, alleges in her two-count suit that Hertz created a hostile work environment by subjecting her to inappropriate comments and accusations from January 2012 until May 2013, when she was transferred from the sheriff’s office to a different county department.

The suit, filed Tuesday and naming Hertz, the sheriff’s office and the county, suggests Hertz was driven by a romantic interest in Linton and jealousy over her interactions with another man in the office.

In a statement Wednesday, Hertz disputed the allegations.

“I’ve dedicated my career to law enforcement for over 40 years, working hard for the residents of Madison County and building a reputation for honesty and integrity,” he said.

“These allegations are completely false. They are an insult to my family, my reputation, and my life’s work, and I will clear my name in court with everyone, hopefully, testifying truthfully under oath.”

Hertz said the lawsuit will not distract him from his duties as sheriff.

Included among the allegations are that Hertz made inappropriate sexual gestures relative to Linton and sent her harassing emails.

Hertz’s lawyer, Eric Rhein, could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

The suit seeks $1 million in compensatory damages on each count of sexual harassment and inflicting emotional distress, as well as $1 million in punitive damages for each.

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Jennifer S. Mann is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.