AJC Watchdog: First Alert

Keeping watch on those who hold the public trust and money

Theft, sexual harassment complaint signal more trouble for Gladys Knight's Chicken and Waffles

A theft of an estimated $9,000 from the safe of Gladys Knight's Chicken and Waffles' downtown location and a sexual harassment complaint signal more trouble for the iconic eatery.

No locks were broken in the Oct. 10 theft, according to a police report. A video camera at the business was not operating and there was no burglar alarm. There have been no arrests, a police spokesman said.

On Monday, a former prep cook at the downtown location came forward to the AJC to say that she was sexually harassed at the restaurant. A copy of the Sept. 2 complaint to the federal Equal Opportunity Employment Commission provided by Lavonda Moore, 28 said that managers retaliated against her when she complained about the alleged harassment by lowering her hours, which decreased her pay.

Moore said she was fired 20 days later.

"I told numerous managers and they never did anything about it," Moore said.

The chicken and waffle restaurants have been in turmoil since the June arrest of owner Shanga Hankerson, son of soul music legend and Atlanta native Knight. He faces two felony theft counts after a Georgia Department of Revenue investigators said he collected taxes and failed to turn them over to the state.

Witnesses told investigators that Hankerson spent on marijuana and sex parties as the restaurant sank.

The family feuded openly when Knight sued to have her name removed from the restaurant. Knight was not involved in any wrongdoing, investigators said.

The restaurant's locations were run by a receiver after Hankerson's arrest.

Hankerson's attorney declined comment.



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