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Sanibel officer files sexual harassment complaint; internal investigation underway

Independent investigation is also being conducted
Posted at 7:03 PM, Jul 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-13 20:42:42-04
A complaint over sexual harassment filed by a female Sanibel Police officer has led to an internal investigation. 
 
Police Chief William Tomlinson told Fox 4 the the department has requested a separate independent review. 
 
"I'd say it's a bit unusual but because of the people that have been implicated we felt it was most appropriate to go outside so that we had the appropriate authority do an investigation that was objective," said Tomlinson. 
 
The City Attorney's office confirmed the independent investigation which is being handled by the Allen Norton & Blue Law Firm; an agency specializing in employment and labor disputes. 
 
The Chief believes both investigation will take about a month. 
 
"Right now we're setting up appointments with all the affected parties to come in and give statements, " said Tomlinson. 
 
This is the second sexual harassment complaint at the Department this year, according to Tomlinson; however, he says the two cases aren't related. 
 
An officer, who is not being investigated in the matter, reportedly resigned due to his disapproval of how the department initially handled the complaint. 
 
Tomlinson refused to comment on why the officer resigned. 
 
"Well I'll leave that up to him," said Tomlinson. "But as far as I'm concerned we are going to do a thorough and objective investigation and whatever comes of it we'll take the appropriate actions," he added. 
 
The department employs 26 officers; it's not clear how many of those officers are being questioned.  
 
"I'd be guessing at this point so i'm not going to guess. It's several employees that have been witnesses or subject to the investigation," said Tomlinson.