Former Beaufort County Probate Judge Frank M. Simon says he made "errors of judgment, but never sexually harassed anyone."
In a telephone interview Thursday, Simon said he hasn't been himself for some time because of stress following the death of his wife, Gloria. She died in March 2011 at age 85 after a marriage of 45 years. While they had been separated for a short time within the last 10 years, they had reunited, Simon said.
"I loved Gloria, and now I don't have her anymore," he said.
A conversation with a female employee on May 14 was at the center of all three complaints. The employee said Simon instigated a sexual conversation while alone with him in his office. The former judge said he felt "trapped into it" and the conversation "got out of hand."
Simon said the accusations of inappropriate behavior don't give the full context of what happened and could ruin his reputation. But he said he couldn't elaborate because doing so would be a violation of judicial code of conduct.
A state judicial official, however, says the judge is free to speak about the matter.
Simon said he has done a good job as probate judge.
"If you asked around in the public domain and in the legal field, I think you would almost get a universal comment that this guy has built one of the best probate courts around," he said. "I stand on my record."