Callahan Blasts Sexual Misconduct Probe

Investigation Of Charges Said To Raise Questions, Blemish Reputations

November 01, 1991|By Gary Gately | Gary Gately,Staff writer

Former Annapolis Mayor Dennis M. Callahan charged yesterday that thecity administration's investigation into alleged sexual misconduct among public safety workers "raises more questions than it answers" and unfairly has blemished the police department's reputation.

"I amdistressed at the manner in which the (investigation) has been handled," Callahan said at a news conference outside his Eastport home yesterday afternoon.

Callahan, who lost his 1989 re-election bid to Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins, called on Hopkins' administration to provide "full and complete disclosure" of details surrounding the investigation and identify any police officer "who may have been involved in a cover-up."

Cityofficials confirmed Tuesday that two members of the fire department had been disciplined as a result of an ongoing city investigation into an alleged "pattern of sexual misconduct" among police and fire employees.

Jonathan Hodgson, the city attorney, said the latest of the alleged incidents involving firefighters occurred no more recently than 1985 or 1986. The alleged sexual misconduct in the Police Department occurred more recently, he said.

The two male firefighters, whom city officials refused to identify, were disciplined within the past three months for actions "of a sexual nature" with women at an Annapolis fire station, Hodgson said.

He said the two men violated departmental rules and regulations governing sexual misconduct but committed no crimes and have not been terminated.

Internal Affairs officers at the fire and police departments began investigating when allegations of sexual misconduct involving police and fire employees surfaced about three months ago, Hodgson said.

He refused to say howmany other employees were being investigated and would provide no details on the source of the information that prompted the probe, expected to be completed by today.

Hopkins defended his administration's investigation and dismissed Callahan's criticism. "It's obvious he's running for mayor again," Hopkins said of his former opponent, who won't say whether he plans a bid to oust Hopkins.

Hopkins said details of the investigation had yet to be released because it isn't completed, adding: "No one is covering up anything. There's nothing to cover up."

Callahan compared the current administration's handling of sexual misconduct allegations with his own response to rumors of "inappropriate relations" in 1986 between a city alderman and on-duty city police officers.

He refused to identify the alderman or the police officers, but said he sent all aldermen a memo saying "they would no longer be able to call police officers to their abodes to jump in their patrol cars and do whatever they did at all kind of hours ofthe day and night."

Callahan, city officials and aldermen could not produce the memo yesterday. Hopkins and two aldermen -- Theresa DeGraff, R-Ward 7, and Samuel Gilmer, D-Ward 3 -- said yesterday they could not recall the memo.

"Clearly, the master of innuendo is at it again," DeGraff said of Callahan. "To be re-elected, he'll say anything."

Added Gilmer, "He should either tell the whole story or keep his damn mouth shut."

But Alderman Carl O. Snowden, D-Ward 5, said he remembered receiving the memo.

Snowden joined Callahan in criticizing the administration's handling of the probe.

"The city and the morale of our employees are not well-served by the way this investigation is being handled," he said. "This investigation should be quickly concluded and the facts made available to the press and the public. Let's get on with police officers fighting crime, firefightersfighting fires -- and not responding to innuendoes."

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