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Florida police department to settle sexual harassment suit

A police officer with the Lake Mary, Florida Police Department has been accused of sexual harassment by a female co-worker.

She claims that the lieutenant acted inappropriately towards her during training demonstrations. She says that he brushed his hands against her breasts. She also alleges that he tried to rub her shoulders in an elevator. She complained to her employer and the city did investigate. The police officer was issued a reprimand.

However, upon investigation it appears that this is not the first time that this police officer has been accused of sexual harassment in the workplace.

In fact, he had previously worked with the Winter Park Police Department before landing his job in Lake Mary. He was forced to resign from his position in Winter Park after he was accused of inappropriate touching and unwanted sexual advances by at least six coworkers.

The police officer did admit to at least some or all of those allegations, which led to him being forced to resign. However, only months later he was working in a similar position with Lake Mary police. According to Lake Mary's police chief, they did run a background check and may not have been aware of the sexual harassment allegations against him when they hired him.

The city is said to be on the verge of settling the lawsuit.

City officials say the officer will be disciplined in the form of taking away up to two vacation days, along with imposing mandatory diversity training. Does this sound like adequate consequences for someone who has repeatedly sexually harassed coworkers? Sexual harassment is a violation of both state and federal law and should not be tolerated in any workplace. It is also concerning to know that a local police officer has a history of this type of behavior.

Source: wftv.com, "Lake Mary officer has history of sexual harassment," June 20, 2012

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