After Sexual Misbehaviour Inquiry, 5 Tennessee Policemen Dismissed, 3 Suspended
Five Tennessee police officers were fired, and three others were suspended without pay, after an investigation into a sex scandal in the department. The scandal involved officers having sex while on duty and on city property.
The mayor of La Vergne, a suburb of Nashville, Jason Cole, took action against the officers because the situation was “unacceptable.”
Cole said in a statement, “As soon as it was brought to our attention, it was looked into, and action was taken against the people involved.”
Here are the important facts about the investigation:
The Mayor of La Vergne Has Requested an Investigation Into the Police Department
Cole requested that the city’s Human Resources Director Andrew Patton conduct an investigation into the officers on December 12 after receiving information from one of the officers who was later fired, according to an investigation report.
Cole had to approve the discipline recommendations made by the police chief, city attorney, city administrator, and assistant city administrator by December 29.
Which Officers Faced Disciplinary Action?
La Vergne identified the following as the fired officers:
- Patrol officer Maegan Hall
- Patrol officer Juan Lugo‐Perez
- Sgt. Henry Ty McGowan
- Sgt. Lewis Powell
- Detective Seneca Shields
The city identified the following as the three suspended offices without pay:
- Patrol/K‐9 officer Larry Holladay
- Patrol officer Patrick Magliocco
- Patrol officer Gavin Schoeberl
What Did the Investigators Discover?
According to the investigation, some officers on the second shift were having sexual relationships that they didn’t tell anyone about, having sex on the job and on city property, and sending explicit photos and videos to each other.
The investigation into sexual harassment by an officer, which included sending naked pictures of one officer who was later fired, is in the document.
The report talks about officers who didn’t tell anyone about their sexual relationships or sexual activity while they were on duty.
The document also talks about a finding of workplace violence and says that McGowan went into the HR office and put his hands around the neck of another worker.
In another finding, Powell and McGowan are accused of working together to lie about the investigation.
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‘A Challenging Situation’
La Vergne Police Chief Burrel “Chip” Davis says that firing and suspending the officers has made things “tough” for the department and the city.
The chief said, “I want to make it clear that the actions of a few do not speak for the whole department.” “We’re working on this problem internally with our staff.
We’re also bringing in counsellors to help our officers deal with the situation, and we’ll keep giving this community the most professional protection we can.”
‘Reestablishing Public Trust’
There are 11 open jobs in the 60-person department, but Davis says there are enough people to cover patrol shifts and keep the community safe. Davis and Cole both said that the city’s trust in the police department needs to be rebuilt. Cole says he has “complete confidence” in this.
“The public’s trust will be our top goal going forward,” Cole said. “All of our employees will be retrained on the rules, regulations, and expectations set by city leaders.”