The state of California has sued a venture capital firm with a reported Arkansas link for sexually harassing a female employee.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports:


The Department of Fair Employment and Housing sued Silicon Valley Growth Syndicate I in San Francisco, where the company formerly was headquartered. It is now based in Little Rock, Ark., and invests money in startup businesses.

The suit focused on the conduct of Lee McNutt of Dallas, the company’s co-founder and owner of another firm, International Direct Mail Consultants, that jointly employed the woman cited in the lawsuit. According to the Silicon Valley Growth Syndicate’s website, McNutt has led 53 U.S. trade missions for internet and direct marketing abroad and has consulted with more than 50 firms worldwide.

A cursory Internet search doesn’t turn up much of Arkansas footprint for the company, though its website says it has backed at least one Little Rock startup.

The lawsuit says the former employee was touched repeatedly without her consent. The company and McNutt declined comment, the newspaper said.