City of Punta Gorda responds to sexual harassment complaint against police chief
PUNTA GORDA, Fla. - The former Punta Gorda police department's Public Information Officer Christy Arnold filed a complaint this week with the state's commission on human relations. Arnold says she was the victim of sexual harrassment and discrimination by Punta Gorda police chief Butch Arenal.
We have been trying to get Punta Gorda city officials to comment on these allegations and the pending lawsuit for days.
But the city would not comment. Today, city manager Howard Kunik released a statement after our coverage aired saying,
"The city vigorously denies the allegations made by Ms. Arnold and she was not subjected to unlawful discrimination, harrassment or retaliation."
Arnold claims during a march meeting chief arenal referred to "her as a homosexual".
And while senior officers were talking about a Hooters billboard, arnold claims the chief asked,
"Which bikini bottoms should christy wear?"
Arnold also claims on another occasion the chief just came right out and asked her what type of underwear she wore.
After Arnold filed a complaint, the chief was given a counseling session by city manager Howard Kunik instead of disciplinary action.
Kunik said the chief admitted to saying the comments and wasn't disciplined because of a perfect personnel file. Arnold plans on filing a lawsuit against the city for damages.