Police worker fired for 'conduct unbecoming' Polygraph operator allegedly made explicit remarks

March 24, 1993|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,Staff Writer

An Anne Arundel County police polygraph operator was fired effective today after he was found guilty of administrative charges stemming from his conduct with a female job applicant, police officials confirmed.

Chief Robert Russell upheld administrative charges of "conduct unbecoming" that a department employee filed against Robert Reed after a Toll Facilities police officer he interviewed last fall alleged that he made sexually explicit remarks, said Sgt. Mark Howes, assistant to the chief.

Mr. Reed, whose job included performing polygraph tests on all potential Police Department employees, could not be reached for comment.

During the job interview, Mr. Reed, a civilian who works in the Criminal Investigation Division, remarked to the woman about her anatomy, police officials and sources close to the investigation said.

The woman, who was applying for a job as a police officer, later met Mr. Reed at a Fells Point bar to go over the results of her polygraph test, the sources said.

Such meetings are not standard procedure. It was unclear what occurred at the meeting.

The woman filed the complaint after being told she was not going to get the job, the sources said.

Mr. Reed was charged after the department's Internal Affairs Unit investigated the incident, Sergeant Howes said.

Sources said the job interview was taped and that Mr. Reed turned off the tape before he made the remarks, then turned it back on. Despite the remark's sexual overtones, investigators with the Internal Affairs Unit did not charge Mr. Reed with sexual harassment, Sergeant Howes said, because department legal advisers felt they could not prove the allegation.

After several sexual harassment complaints from women in the department against other officers last year, Chief Russell ordered all employees to participate in a three-hour session at the police academy in Davidsonville.

In the most recent incident, Sgt. Lafayette Harvey, a patrol supervisor at the Northern District station, was charged administratively in December with harassing a female officer and a civilian employee who works at the station with him. An administrative hearing is scheduled for next month.

The harassment allegedly occurred between 1991 and spring 1992, police officials said, and was reported to the department's Internal Affairs Unit in September.

Last year, two captains were disciplined. Capt. Richard Smith, a 22-year veteran, was fined $5,000 after he pleaded guilty to departmental charges of sexual harassment and other conduct violations. Capt. Don F. Ward, former commander of the Northern District, was forced to retire in the wake of complaints made against him.

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