Calista denies wrongdoing in sexual harassment lawsuit

Entrepreneur Tiffany Phillips is suing the Calista Corporation in an ongoing sexual harassment lawsuit.
(Photo by Teresa Cotsirilos/KYUK)

The Calista Regional Native Corporation has denied any wrongdoing in an ongoing sexual harassment lawsuit against the company.

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In a jointly-filed response last Friday, Calista CEO Andrew Guy claims that he and his corporation didn’t do anything wrong. When a woman approached Guy with a sexual harassment complaint against a Calista top executive, his attorneys argue that he dealt with it appropriately. Their filing denies that Guy tried to bury her claim, and it denies that the Calista Corporation put the woman in harm’s way.

The woman, of course, tells a different story. In a lawsuit filed last June, Tiffany Phillips accuses former executive George Owletuck of relentlessly harassing her when she tried to sell her company to Calista. She says that Owletuck sent her Victoria Secret lingerie, a handwritten love letter and over a thousand text messages – none of which Calista disputes. When Phillips told CEO Andrew Guy about the harassment, she claims that he tried to bury it by failing to report her complaint to Calista’s Human Resources Department. She also claims that Calista should have known Owletuck posed a threat to her. According to a memo written by former Human Resources Director Heather Spear, Calista had already disciplined Owletuck for harassing his co-workers several times before.

Phillips is suing Andrew Guy for breach of contract and the Calista Corporation for negligence. In their initial complaint, her attorneys also sued Owletuck for sexual harassment, but the court he has since dismissed him from the case. Owletuck left both his family and the country earlier this year and is believed to be living in Ecuador. Phillips’ legal team was unable to find and serve him with the proper paperwork.

Guy’s critics accuse him of burying Phillips’ harassment complaint to protect Owletuck. The two men have known each other since college and have gone hunting and traveling together; Guy is Owletuck’s daughter’s godfather, and Owletuck has referred to himself as one of Guy’s closest advisors. In the response filed Friday, Guy’s attorneys made an effort to distance him from Owletuck. The filing states that Guy “sporadically kept in touch” with him, and that “Andrew Guy and his wife have been godparents to a great many children.”

The lawsuit has been moved to federal court, and the court has set a scheduling conference for November 28. It is one of two lawsuits that Calista is currently involved in. The corporation is also trying to forcibly remove its former chairman, Col. Wayne Don, from its Board of Directors. Don raised concerns about Guy’s treatment of Phillips last year, and Guy’s allies claim that he was trying to use the controversy as leverage in a failed boardroom coup.