Eleven jail employees accused officer under investigation of sex - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Eleven jail employees accused officer under investigation of sexual harassment in 2012

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Metro Corrections officer currently under criminal investigation for alleged "inappropriate conduct involving inmates" was found to have sexually propositioned and harassed numerous jail employees in 2012, creating an “intimidating, hostile, offensive environment.”

Officer David Temple was nearly fired for his actions, in which 11 staff members gave sworn statements about Temple's inappropriate sexual comments or behavior.

The investigation, which was initially withheld from a WDRB open records request, concludes that Temple “did make sexual propositions, advances or requests for sexual favors; he made sexually suggestive or degrading remarks or graphic comments …; he displayed sexually explicit or suggestive photographs or pictures in the work place; he did leer or look at someone in a sexual manner and engaged in unwelcome touching, rubbing or brushing of female co-workers.”

Click HERE to read about the allegations from his personnel file.

Also, Temple was found to have been untruthful during his sworn statement, intentionally withheld information, didn't fully answer questions and gave misleading reasons why female staff made allegations against him.

In addition, Temple used medical staff to give him injections – though the type of drug is redacted – which put the staff in an “awkward position” due to his “already intimidating behavior.”

While a disciplinary notice recommend he be fired for his conduct, Temple was given an opportunity to meet with Metro Corrections Director Mark Bolton to respond to the recommendation. He ended up keeping his job but was demoted from sergeant to officer.

In an interview last week, 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.

WDRB requested Temple's personnel file after he was placed on administrative leave without pay last month, pending both a criminal and administrative investigation into his conduct with inmates who were in the jail's home incarceration program.

The city turned over his personnel file but withheld details of the 2012 disciplinary action, saying it was part of the current police investigation. Dee Allen, the city's open records custodian, said Metro Corrections had “confirmed” that the records had been turned over to police as part of its current investigation.

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

But on Friday, the city released the records to WDRB and apologized “for any confusion.” Metro Corrections Major Endora Davis said in an e-mail Monday that the jail's internal investigators talked with police and determined the information was okay to release as it was only being used as "collateral information."

The city has declined to provide a picture of Temple, citing privacy concerns.

The witnesses in the 2012 internal investigation, including subordinates of Temple and nursing staff, told jail investigators that Temple's behavior “had been ongoing for a long time,” possibly since his promotion to Sergeant in December 2009.

Nursing staff  told investigators they did not immediately report Temple's behavior for fear of retaliation from him or other officers or their employer at the time, Corizon Medical. Other women said they “just tried to ignore Sgt. Temple's behavior in hopes he would eventually leave them alone," according to the investigation.

“Female staff became scared, humiliated and feared retaliation,” the investigation concluded.

Among the allegations:

-- A female Metro Corrections officer said Temple asked her for nude pictures of herself and showed her pictures on his phone of naked women. The officer said Temple also tried to rub her shoulders and told her and another officer to “vibrate” together. Temple said he was joking with the officer. The other officer said Temple made the same “vibrate” comment to her. Temple said he was talking about her drinking too much coffee and was joking.

-- A nurse claims Temple told her he had been trying to have sex with her since she started and tried to kiss her neck and rub himself against her. Temple claimed he didn't remember that. Another nurse said Temple told her that she looked like a girl who liked rough sex and also tried to touch her shoulders and commented on her clothing. Temple denied the allegations.

-- Another nurse said Temple told her she had a nice body and rubbed himself against her. Temple said he may have told the nurse she looked nice but if he touched her, it was unintentional.

-- Another nurse said Temple tried to hold her hand and told her that if she wasn't married, he would follow her home. Temple said he may have held her hand to comfort her but didn't remember the comment about following her home.

-- An officer said Temple told her to turn around so he could look at her behind and made inappropriate comments. Temple acknowledged he may have whispered “sweet nothings, sweet nothings” in the officer's ear and probably asked to look at her backside. But he claimed he meant it as a “joke.”

-- Another officer swore Temple asked her when she would go out with him and asked her to sit in his lap and “see what pops up.” Temple admitted he asked the officer if she wanted to sit in his lap and go for a spin around the jail, but denied saying anything else. And he said he was joking when he talked about going out on a date.

-- And another officer said Temple whispered “sweet nothings, sweet nothings” in her ear. Temple said he did not mean it in a sexual nature.

“Sgt. Temple stated he would often whisper words in the female staff ears in, as he put it, an attempt to ‘lighten the mood,'” according to the records.

Attorney Steve Schroering, who is representing Temple, has not yet seen the 2012 investigation and declined to comment. He also said Temple did not want to comment.

Previously, talking about the current investigation involving inmates, Schroering said Temple “denies any criminal conduct.”

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

Metro Police spokeswoman Alicia Smiley said the department's Public Integrity Unit started its own investigation into Temple on Nov. 24 regarding his conduct with home incarceration inmates. 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.

Temple's personnel file includes disciplinary action taken for only a couple of infractions, giving out the wrong property to an inmate in 2002 and mislabeling the property of two inmates a year later.

However, there were other allegations, which were unsubstantiated.

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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