San Antonio Employment Law Blog

Texas police chief accused of covering up sexual harassment

Cases of sexual harassment are often a case of “he said, she said,” which makes it difficult to determine the truth. Those in charge must still take action or risk a backlash of public option, as one Texas police chief is going through right now.

A female recruit in a Texas police academy publicly levied accusations of sexual harassment against a male recruit. The female had allegedly reported the harassment to her superiors at the academy. They conducted an investigation and concluded that the male recruit’s behavior was not appropriate.

The situation was brought before the chief of police, but things quickly became complicated. The chief reported that he had been given new information from the female recruit’s sister who alleged that the accuser had engaged in a previous relationship with the male recruit, and that some photos used as evidence against the male recruit were actually sent upon the female recruit’s request.

In most sexual harassment cases, a previous consensual relationship can muddy the waters and make it difficult to take action against the person who is facing the harassment charges. In this case, the chief consulted with the City Attorney to determine how to best move forward. This lack of quick action caused some to accuse the police chief of failing to take action because the accused is the son of a veteran police officer from the same department.

It is too soon to guess how this case will turn out, but the female recruit has secured the services of an attorney who is speaking on her behalf. The attorney is supporting a possible independent investigation into the case as long as the investigation looks into why Internal Affairs was not alerted sooner.

Source: The Dallas Morning News, “Dallas Police Chief Brown addresses female recruit’s allegations of sexual harassment” Robert Wilonsky, May. 22, 2014

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