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Fort Myers Police Department suspends lieutenant for sexual and racial harrassment

Posted at 10:36 PM, Jul 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-15 12:11:33-04

An 18 page report from the Fort Myers police department details complaints made against Lt. Peter Tarman.

He's accused of sexual and racial harassment.

The administrative review investigation shows several witnesses confirm Lt. Tarman accused one Sgt. of being gay.

That sergeant "would speak of activities that he and his girlfriend would do, Lieutenant Tarman would interject and make comments like, 'What's his name?', 'Just come out of the closet', 'When are we going to meet him?' and 'How's he doing?' when referring to the" sergeant's girlfriend.

The sergeant "indicated that the comments made about his sexuality by Lt. Tarman occurred approximately 'a half a dozen times."

And he described Tarman's statements as "unwarranted, inappropriate, unsubstantiated, offensive, attacking and jabbing."

Lieutenant Tarman also faced accusations of racial harassment.

He's accused of harassing another Sgt. of middle eastern descent ... talking about his "camel" and bringing up the issue of "terror actvity."

Lt. Tarman responded that he had known the men for 20 years and it was just "a joke."

Tarman claims the complaints came after a job review where he had pointed out areas where the sergeant needed improvement.

And he viewed the complaints as "a threat... basically he was blackmailing me."

Despite Lt. Tarman's objections, some members of the command staff review recommended Tarman be suspended for 60 hours, face six months of probation and undergo sensitivity training.

The Police Chief decided on a 24 hour suspension with six months probation and a requirement that he go through leadership and communication training.