Aberdeen chief may quit soon Jolley target of 2 probes, sexual harassment suit

October 23, 1993|By Bruce Reid | Bruce Reid,Staff Writer

Aberdeen officials are debating the future of Police Chief John R. Jolley, including his possible resignation, according to

sources familiar with the discussions.

Three of the five City Council members met in a closed session Thursday to negotiate with Chief Jolley, the sources said, adding his resignation could come next week.

Chief Jolley has been the subject of two investigations by the state prosecutor and recently was accused of sexual harassment in a lawsuit filed by his former secretary.

The council members who attended the meeting would not comment or could not be reached. City Attorney Greg Rapisarda, Mayor Ruth Elliott and Administrator Peter Dacey also would not comment.

Chief Jolley said yesterday that it would be "inappropriate" for him to comment on the discussions.

His troubles started nearly a year ago. Mrs. Elliott has tried to fire the chief for months, but four other council members have resisted.

The negotiations come about a week after a $3 million sexual TC harassment suit was filed against the chief. Vickie L. Horne, who was Chief Jolley's secretary until last month, alleged in the suit that the chief "continuously" subjected her to sexually suggestive and lewd comments during the four years she worked for him.

Chief Jolley said the suit was in response to her recent transfer.

In the suit, filed in Harford County Circuit Court, Mrs. Horne alleges that the chief made suggestive remarks, often in front of co-workers.

She alleges that the chief told her to wear a "wet T-shirt" to a golf outing to distract other players, and she alleges that the chief "wanted to put a sign in the office stating that 'Sexual harassment is not only encouraged but evaluated.' "

Mrs. Horne, who is seeking $2.5 million from Chief Jolley and $500,000 from the city, began working for another Aberdeen police supervisor last month.

Chief Jolley tried to transfer her to the wastewater treatment plant, but Mayor Elliott stopped that move.

The chief attempted the transfer after Mrs. Horne spoke to investigators with the state prosecutor about one of the two investigations that office was conducting concerning his conduct in office. The prosecutor is investigating allegations that the chief assigned Mrs. Horne, who has no police training, to help on a criminal case and that the chief took for his personal use a pornographic videotape seized as evidence.

During the summer, Stephen R. Montanarelli, the state special prosecutor, found that the chief had misappropriated public money and illegally voided dozens of parking and traffic tickets. Although the prosecutor said the chief's actions constituted official misconduct, no criminal charges were filed.

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