Jail officer accused of "inappropriate conduct" with inmates nea - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Jail officer accused of "inappropriate conduct" with inmates nearly fired for sexual harassment in 2012

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Metro Corrections officer under criminal investigation for alleged "inappropriate conduct involving inmates" was nearly fired in 2012 for sexual harassment, according to his personnel file.

Officer David Temple was placed on administrative leave Dec. 22, without pay, pending both a criminal and administrative investigation into his conduct with inmates who were in the jail's home incarceration program.

In 2012, Temple received a disciplinary notice that recommend he be fired for his conduct, including sexual harassment. But Temple was given an opportunity to meet with Metro Corrections Director Mark Bolton to respond to the recommendation, according to documents in his personnel file.

Instead of being fired, Temple was demoted from sergeant back to officer and told that “any further sustained incident of sexual harassment will result in termination,” according to his personnel file, obtained through a request under the Kentucky Open Records Act.

In an interview, Bolton said Temple had been with the jail for more than a decade with minimal disciplinary history and that demotion is the most serious punishment short of being fired.

"It was a very serious discipline for a very serious infraction," Bolton said.

Temple's other infractions were for giving out the wrong property to an inmate in 2002 and mislabeling the property of two inmates a year later.

Temple's personnel file does not include the allegation against him or the results of the investigation that led to the sexual harassment finding. It does include a summary that says Temple "repeatedly violated" department policies with inappropriate conduct.

Also, investigators determined Temple was untruthful during the investigation, lying in a sworn statement. And he took prescription medication while on duty without notifying a supervisor, according to his file.

"Your conduct has been deemed unbecoming of an officer," Davis wrote in Temple's disciplinary action notice on July 5, 2012. "Incidents such as this will not be tolerated by the department."

Asked why Temple's personnel file included no details of the sexual harassment allegation or findings, Davis said the 2012 investigation is now part of the police department's current investigation.

Bolton said he could not talk about the 2012 incidents while police have an open investigation.

City officials declined WDRB's request for the documents surrounding the 2012 investigation, also saying they were part of a pending investigation. The city would also not provide a picture of Temple, citing privacy concerns.

Metro Police spokeswoman Alicia Smiley said the department's Public Integrity Unit started its own investigation into Temple on Nov. 24. Once completed, she said, it will be turned over to the Jefferson Commonwealth's Attorney's Office for potential charges.

Smiley has declined to discuss details of the investigation.

Attorney Steve Schroering, who is representing Temple, could not be immediately reached for comment. Previously, Schroering said he only knows the current investigation involves alleged "interaction with inmates."

"At this point he certainly denies any criminal conduct," Schroering said.

The jail's administrative investigation will be turned over to Director Bolton for possible disciplinary action, Davis has said.

In 2013, an inmate on home incarceration accused Temple of inappropriate contact after he gave her a ride. A jail investigation, however, concluded there was no proof to that accusation, according to documents in his file.

And the jail exonerated Temple in April 2012 on allegations by a sergeant that Temple had been going to District Court to "assist female inmates in getting released." The investigation looked into whether Temple "granted or promised any inmates special privileges or favors ... and if he expected anything in return," according to documents in his file.

Temple told investigators "he never expected anything in return for helping the female inmates," according to the investigation's conclusion letter.

The internal investigation found Temple had not violated any policies and the allegations stemmed from a "casual conversation" between Temple and the sergeant.

The investigation into Temple's alleged inappropriate conduct comes just more than a year after a Metro Corrections breathalyzer technician quit rather than be fired for improper conduct with female inmates and lying to investigators.

Officer Daniel Lister started or tried to start relationships with several inmates he met at Metro Corrections, using his position to gain contact information and "friending" 18 of the women on Facebook, according to an investigative report by jail officials.

Lister was accused of making contact with several female inmates within days of them being released from jail, having sex with one and spending time with another who had a warrant for her arrest.

The police department talked with Metro Corrections investigators in April and June of 2013, but found nothing that reached the level of criminal charges and declined to investigate Lister, Davis said.

Smiley, the police spokesperson, also said one woman complained to police about Lister, but the investigation ended when she dropped her complaint.

During the past two years, 52 of the approximately 87 completed DUI cases involving Lister were amended down or dismissed, according to a WDRB review. Prosecutors couldn't say how many of those were directly related to breathalyzer issues.

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