Police Chief: 'Convicting My Officers Before Anything Is Done Is Unacceptable'
Arnold Police Chief Bob Shockey fired back at a councilwoman for publicly discussing the details of a discrimination lawsuit filed by a former police employee.
Arnold Police Chief Bob Shockey defended himself, his officers and his police department after ongoing litigation involving a former Arnold police detective was discussed at the March 7 city council meeting.
During the meeting, Councilwoman Michele Hohmeier asked why the Susie Boone settlement was approved so quickly when another alleged employee harassment case has been in the courts since 2011. Hohmeier then began reading a narrative she'd prepared outlining allegations in a lawsuit Alicia Ott had filed against the city.
"To convict my officers before anything is done is unacceptable," Shockey said to Hohmeier. "There are two sides to every story, and you have one, and it ain't right."
Patch obtained a copy of the lawsuit filed in October 2011 from Ott's attorney. In short, Ott alleges in the petition that she was sexually harassed by a fellow officer and retaliated against. Ott claims in the lawsuit the incidents led to her being demoted, suspended and eventually fired.
During the meeting, Hohmeier said, "Ott alleges she endured harassment for nearly a year from this police department and when she complained again, she was investigated, not the offending officer."
Shockey said the case was investigated and the officer was disciplined. After that, he said the officers had "zero contact."
A year later Shockey said he told Ott she would have to attend firearms training led by the officer who she alleged sexually harassed her.
"He is the only range officer I have," Shockey said. "I told her she was going to the range and I was sending two supervisors to make sure nothing happens. Well, she didn't like that."
Shockey continued, "Then all the sudden there was a claim that two weeks before that, they crossed in the hallway and that was supposedly harassment. We actually have it on video."
He added, "I'm tired of my officers, me and my department getting slammed with untruths. It (the Ott case) is ongoing litigation, and we don't talk about it in public."
City Attorney Bob Sweeney told Patch both the Ott case was turned over to the insurance company as standard procedure. He said the insurance company has denied the allegations made in the Ott lawsuit.