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 Updated 05/25/13 06:55:07 PM
February 18, 2012 Colleyville, Texas
Colleyville Police Department Sexual Harassment Claim Reveals Surprises of Promotion for an Officer Who Sent Revealing Photos
and the Officer Recipient Being Forced Out of the Department
by Linda Baker
As previously reported exclusively in Local News Only, Judge John McBryde had issued a Summary Judgment in August in favor of the City of Colleyville in a lawsuit that had been brought forward by former Police Sergeant Doug Huseman. 

The lawsuit alleged gender discrimination, breach of contract, and a hostile work environment stemming from Husemanís 2008 demotion and ultimate resignation in late November of that year.   

 http://www.localnewsonly.com/2011lno/news/08/11_08_20huseman.htm 

Local News Only promised to follow up after our initial story because there was considerably more background to the litigation than what was released by the City Attorney.  We believe strongly at Local News Only that since Colleyville taxpayers funded the investigation, they have a right to know the resulting outcomes. 

After numerous witness statements, interviews and legal documents, it appears the City had sufficient motive to keep this story from the citizens.  There were serious deficiencies in the initial internal investigation against Doug Huseman; most notably on the gender discrimination charges. 

It appears the "victim" of the alleged sexual harassment wasn't entirely forthcoming in her complaint to her "chain of command".  In an Official Statement dated March 10, 2008, Officer Jennifer Chavez failed to reveal she had sent nude photos she had taken of herself to Sgt. Huseman.  Or that she had previously sent and received sexually oriented texts to and from Huseman. Click Here to Read the Statement

Would you be surprised to learn that Officer Jennifer Chavez, who was not disciplined for any reason including keeping material evidence to her original complaint secret? That she was not admonished for posing semi-nude wearing in a Colleyville police uniform? 

In fact, Officer Jennifer Chavez was recently promoted to the new rank of Corporal in the Colleyville Police Department.  

Excerpts from January 8, 2009 deposition of Officer Jennifer Chavez regarding her sexual harassment complaint against Sgt. Doug Huseman: 

Ken Lybrand: "How did ..how did your relationship kind of develop from you don't know each other to professional to..did it.. did it go anywhere else?" 

Officer Jennifer Chavez: "It went up to flirtation and what I put in there about the pictures, the graphic conversation and that type of thing. It didn't go anywhere beyond that though, because I felt..started feeling uncomfortable because he became fairly pushy, so.." 

Ken Lybrand: Okay. The..the flirtation that you describe, was that from both ends of the spectrum from you and from him or was it.." 

Officer Chavez: "Initially, yes. I would guess..and I don't remember offhand, but maybe at least once a day. and then if we got to talking, you know, it would be several times a day." 

Ken Lybrand: "Okay. And the communication, was it..was it verbal? Was it telephone? Was it text? Was it E-mail What was the communication?" 

Officer Chavez: I don't think really E-mail. Maybe occasional. Mostly talking and text and all of the above really." 

Ken Lybrand: "Okay. Can you remember when the transition kind of occurred to where ..or how it..how it occurred where it went to kind of the flirtatious.." 

Officer Chavez: Probably..I don't remember, but I would have to guess probably certain innuendos probably and then started kind of joking from that point, but I don't really recall."  

Ken Lybrand: "And in the early stages of the flirtation, how did you feel about it?"

Officer Chavez: "I was attracted to him at that time. I mean, I ..I was mutually flirting at that point." 

Ken Lybrand: "Okay. Did you send photos of yourself to [redacted]?" 

Officer Chavez: "Uh-huh."
 

Ken Lybrand: "Okay. I'm going to.." 

Officer Chavez: "Yes, I did." 

Ken Lybrand: Okay. Thank you. And what were those photos?" 

Officer Chavez: "There were some partially nude shots I'm embarrassed to say, just stuff like that." 

Ken Lybrand: "Okay. And in any of those photos, was there anything that identified you as a Colleyville police officer?" 

Officer Chavez: "Not as a Colleyville police officer, I don't believe that I recall. Not that I recall." 

Ken Lybrand: Okay. Do you remember sending him one where you had your uniform shirt on that was unbuttoned?" 

Officer Chavez: "It's possible. I don't recall. It's possible." 

Ken Lybrand: "Okay. Did he send photos to you of himself?" 

Officer Chavez: "Uh-huh." 

Ken Lybrand: "..was he clothed or not clothed?" 

Officer Chavez: "He was clothed, yes." 

Ken Lybrand: "Okay. Do you still have those photos?" 

Officer Chavez: "I don't have them, I don't think, no." 

Ken Lybrand: "Okay." 

Officer Chavez: "I don't have them." 

Ken Lybrand: "Okay. I'm going to ask a question about the sexual harassment investigation that was done, but I want to make it clear, I'm not here reviewing that investigation. That's not my purposes. But there are some allegations that kind of stem from that that I just need to..I need to ask about.'

'When..when [redacted] was investigated for the sexual harassment, did you mention to anyone about your..your text messages, that y'all previously had had a lot of text messages going back and forth?" 

Officer Chavez: "I don't recall. I don't remember offhand." 

Ken Lybrand: "Okay. Did you mention to anyone.." 

Officer Chavez; "It's likely, but I don't recall." 

Ken Lybrand: " 'It's likely' that you did, but you just don't remember. Did you mention to anyone about the pictures that [redacted] sent to you?" 

Officer Chavez: "No. No, absolutely not. I was embarrassed both ways." 

Ken Lybrand: "Okay. So I..so then I would assume then you didn't mention the pictures you sent to him either?" 

Officer Chavez: "Right. Correct." 

Ken Lybrand: During the ..during the investigation and even after the investigation on the sexual harassment, did either of those two issues ever come up from inside the police department, either the fact that y'all were having a text message..for lack of a better term, a text message relationship or the photos? Did those come up at any point in time?" 

Officer Chavez: I don't recall the photos coming up. I think that people had talked about the text messages, though, I believe, but I don't think they really talked too much where I could hear. There were times that I heard it, I guess, in passing, but no one mentioned it directly to me." 

Ken Lybrand: "So as you think about what happened with [redacted] was..the complaint that was sustained against him, those..those allegations, were you offended by [redacted]?" 

Officer Chavez: "I was ..I would say bothered. I don't say that I was offended in my statement that I give, but they..I thought they might affect the workplace and that's why I came forward.'

'But up until before then, it was pretty mutual flirting, and then during the time with the pictures, obviously so." 

Ken Lybrand: "Okay. I had..I had told you when we started this that at the end I would ask you if there was anything that you wanted to..to talk about that I may not have asked you about, but I think as I..as I reflect, I want to stop right here and ask you, as it pertains to [redacted] is there anything that you need to talk to me about or tell me about that kind of puts a..put this investigation into any kind of framework that you feel like I need to know?" 

Officer Chavez: "The only thing I..a couple of things that I can think of in here, I noticed in..I want to say it was January or February, he started asking me if I was having a relationship, and he seemed to get pushy about it. And he asked me, I would say, at least ten times in various ways.'

And then during the same point in time, especially on the conversation we had at Target, he mentioned that he knew his evaluation was coming up, so I thought, 'Wait a minute. You know, in one instance, you're pissed off at the administration and then in another instance, you know, you're asking me this.'

It just ..it didn't seem right. I'm not sure if he had some type of hidden agenda, and if he did, I don't know, but I know what it appeared to me and it wasn't good." 

Ken Lybrand: "Okay. All right. And just so that we'll have it in the ..in the recording, when Officer Chavez makes the statement that 'I put it in there', you're referring to your memorandum [dated January 5, 2009] that you handed me as we started, correct?" 

Officer Chavez: "That's correct. So I guess from his point of view, that would be the only spin I could think..I really don't know..I have no idea what else he..when you asked me if I brought up the text messages from inside the department, I did obviously tell my chain of command, which that's in there." 

Ken Lybrand: "Okay. So your chain of command at that time would have been who?" 

Officer Chavez: "Lieutenant Cooper at that time." 

Ken Lybrand: " Okay. Was he a sergeant then?" 

Officer Chavez: "No. He was a lieutenant. I was acting sergeant." 

Ken Lybrand: "You were the acting sergeant?" 

Officer Chavez: "That's correct." 

Ken Lybrand: "Okay. And so you told Lieutenant Cooper that you and [redacted] had had a lot of text messages?" 

Officer Chavez: "I told him that..that [redacted] and I..after..after my initial complaint, [redacted] noticed that I was distant from him. And he was working in off duty, and he kept text messaging me to basically come over to Lifetime Fitness, but at that time, I was basically gaining my space from him because I was..didn't want to have anything else to do with him at that point because I didn't know what kind of..what he was up to." 

Ken Lybrand: "Okay. All right. And your concerns that you didn't know what he was up to.."

Officer Chavez: "Yeah." 

Ken Lybrand: "..you were beginning..I believe you used the term you were getting uncomfortable with this, did you talk to any supervisors about that within the department?" 

Officer Chavez: "Uh-huh. I reported that to my chain of command." 

Ken Lybrand: "And is that how the sexual harassment complaint came about?" 

Officer Chavez: "That's correct." 

Ken Lybrand: "Okay. And in your mind, has that been resolved?" 

Officer Chavez: "What do you mean?" 

Ken Lybrand: "The sexual harassment issue." 

Officer Chavez: "I think it has been resolved. He continued to talk about it after and, you know, spread various things to other people in the department, but other than that, I felt in my mind that, yeah." 

Ken Lybrand: "Okay. And before we..leave the issue surrounding this part of the [redacted] allegations to go back to the photographs that you sent to him, do you have any idea how many photographs you sent to him? 

Officer Chavez: "I don't, to be honest with you. I really don't know." 

Ken Lybrand: "Was it more than one occasion?" 

Officer Chavez: "It was more than one occasion, yes." 

Ken Lybrand: Okay. All right. And I had asked you this earlier and you..you answered it, but there was one issue that I failed to ask you about. I asked you about if you..if you recall sending him a photo of you in a Colleyville PD uniform shirt with it unbuttoned. Do you recall sending him one of your duty holster, your Sam Brown?" 

Officer Chavez: "I did." 

Ken Lybrand: "You did send him one of those. And was it your duty holster you wear on duty here?"

Officer Chavez: "I think it was. I have an old one, but I'm not sure which one.." 

Ken Lybrand: "Okay." 

Officer Chavez: "..so... 

Ken Lybrand: "So as you think back and kind of refresh your memory, do you..do you remember sending him one in the uniform shirt or no?" 

Officer Chavez: "I can't be 100 percent sure. "It's possible, but..." 

Ken Lybrand: "Okay. All right." 

Officer Chavez: "I know I sent him one while I was, I think, driving one day, so..and I had my uniform on as normal, so I know for sure..." 

Ken Lybrand: "And.." 

Officer Chavez: "there was one in the normal one, and so..." 

Ken Lybrand: "Okay. And the one that you sent that you described as normal..." 

Officer Chavez: "Uh-huh." 

Ken Lybrand: "...would that be just dressed as you are now?" 

Officer Chavez: "That was normal, yeah..." 

Ken Lybrand: "Okay." 

Officer Chavez: "...shirt buttoned up, but I'm pretty sure it was from this angle, I think. And so it's quite possible that there is a patch in them." 

Ken Lybrand: "Okay. All right. Before..before I began this investigation, one of the things that obviously I did was meet with [redacted] to..to ask him questions to substantiate the need to do this investigation. And on that particular day, he had..he had copies of pictures. I do not have any of those pictures, but in fairness to you, there was a picture of a ..of a female that had the Colleyville PD shirt on and the shirt was unbuttoned. The phone..it appeared to be take with a cell phone, but the phone was right up in front of the face." 

Officer Chavez: "Uh-huh." 

Ken Lybrand: "And so I couldn't see the face, but it was..there were other pictures that he said you had sent to him where the face could be seen. so there is one picture that..that I believe is of you in the Colleyville PD uniform shirt with it unbuttoned. 

Officer Chavez: "Okay." 

Ken Lybrand: "And I say that to you.." 

Officer Chavez: "It's possible. I don't recall." 

Ken Lybrand: "Okay. And I..and I say that to you because I don't want to..I'm not trying to pull any surprises here." 

Officer Chavez: "Right." 

Ken Lybrand: "I'm just laying it out on the table there. Okay."
 

  The initial internal investigation into the sexual harassment complaint by Chavez was conducted by her "chain of command", Lt. Doug Cooper. 

In April 2008, after receiving several "documented counseling sessions" Sgt. Huseman came to believe he was a victim of retaliation within the PD.  While he refuting six of the seven administrative write ups received, he was demoted to patrol officer for "failure to meet job assignment performance levels" and was smacked with a 12 month disciplinary probation.    

Doug Huseman unsucessfully appealed the action to the Assistant City Manager, Kelly Cooper. 

In the City of Colleyville final unsigned and undated document, "Summary of Investigation" subtitled, "Allegations of misconduct or inappropriate behavior within the Colleyville Police Department, as alleged by Mr. Doug Huseman", therein lies a statement that reveals just when the Police Department learned of the mutual texts and complicity of Officer Jennifer Chavez in sending nude photos of herself to Huseman:

"Six months later, in October 2008, additional evidence relating to the misconduct charged in March 2008 came to light. Due to the nature of the evidence, further investigation was warranted."  

Obviously alarmed at the revelation of nude photos and the inherent complicity of the "victim" in the sexual harassment, the City of Colleyville in early November 2008 offered Doug Huseman a Compromise Release and Full and Final Settlement Agreement to resign.   

When the offer was made, Doug Huseman was told, according to the Summary of Investigation document, that an additional disciplinary investigation was pending from the March sexual harassment debacle with Officer Chavez.  The resignation offer included a substantial amount of money, plus letters of recommendation from the Mayor and then Chief Tommy Ingram.  

Mayor David Kelly, a longtime police supporter, had known Doug Huseman since 2005 and was appreciative of Huseman's service to the City of Colleyville and was more than willing to provide the letter. 

Doug Huseman submitted his resignation effective November 27, 2008.   

However, following his resignation but prior to the effective date of the separation agreement, Doug Huseman fired back with a letter to the Chief which contained numerous allegations of incidents by two supervisors.  Sgt. Billy McCullough and Lt. Doug Cooper had been reported viewing a pornography website called "Clitter Glitter" on a city computer, an allegation later verified by witness testimony.  In another allegation, one of the ranked officers had exchanged emails with either racial and/or sexual overtones with a dispatcher. Huseman detailed a barrage of sexually offensive jokes, homophobic innuendos and outright defamatory statements made by ranked police officers with and about other police and civilian personnel in the department.  

Doug Huseman wrote that some incidents had been known or reported but largely ignored, or that disciplinary actions were unequally meted out. There were certainly enough alleged violations and improprieties to make an EEO investigator cringe.  

Huseman's letter left no doubt in then-Chief Tommy Ingram's mind just how imperative it was to bring in an outside investigator to follow up what had began as an internal disciplinary action conducted by Lt. Cooper and supplemented Sgt. McCullough.   

After consulting with the then-interim city manager, an outside firm was hired to conduct employee interviews with nearly all Colleyville Police Department officers, supervisors, and civilian personnel.  Mr. Kenneth Lybrand was retained as the outside investigator to the complaints, which if sustained, included violations of Departmental and City Rules, as well as state and federal law. The police administration was no longer free to investigate themselves.  

Potential witnesses were advised in a City of Colleyville Confidentiality Order dated December 18, 2008, not to speak with anyone, each other, or other prospective witnesses under threat of the dreaded disciplinary action. The only exception was permission to consult a lawyer about constitutional rights or other legal concerns.     

In October, 2008, the City had come to a surprise revelation that Officer Jennifer Chavez had sent sexual texts, nude and semi-nude photos she had taken of herself to Doug Huseman prior to her initial complaint.  Some photos were entirely nude and others partially so.  In one of the semi-nude photos, Officer Chavez is seen wearing only her Colleyville Police uniform shirt, with the Colleyville PD emblem visible. In another photo, Officer Jennifer Chavez appears to be wearing only her holstered service weapon.  

According to an Interrogatory LNO obtained in the lawsuit against the City, Doug Huseman did not learn until August 17, 2009 via a confirmed letter from the Colleyville Police Department that no disciplinary actions were reported or listed in Officer Jennifer Chavez' personnel file.   

Surprisingly there were no disciplinary actions taken against any other member of the Colleyville Police Department as a result of the outside investigation except Doug Huseman?  

With the underlines directly from the document text, here's what else the City of Colleyville said in the last paragraphs of the final Summary of Investigation

"Following completion of the independent investigator's interviews, Colleyville Police Chief Tommy Ingram became responsible for the investigation.  Chief Ingram has extensive experience in internal affairs investigations.  He reviewed all existing documents, including transcripts of each employee interview, and conducted additional interviews deemed necessary to conclude the investigation.  The interviews, whether conducted by the independent investigator or the police chief, disclosed limited first-hand knowledge or information relating to Mr. Huseman's allegations.  Many employees were able to relate only second-and third hand information or rumors that had circulated within the department at various times, some dating back for years.  Other information from the interviews lacked sufficient evidence or witnesses to create a preponderance of evidence, which is the necessary threshold of evidence in disciplinary actions related to public safety personnel.' 

"Conclusion 

'While the city of Colleyville takes all complaints of misconduct and/or inappropriate behavior by an employee(s) seriously, it should be noted that both officers named in Mr. Huseman's complaints had been involved in the disciplinary actions received by then-Officer Huseman.  A review of the employee interviews did not provide factual, substantiated evidence of misconduct sufficient to support disciplinary action as required by state and local disciplinary processes.' 

'This investigation will be categorized as "inconclusive", as the investigation did not disclose sufficient evidence to prove or disprove the allegations in accordance with the Colleyville Police Departments' General Orders/Code of Conduct and state regulations governing the discipline of public safety personnel.

During the investigation, an ancillary issue of excessive use of the city's network Internet service by a patrol supervisor was brought to the department's attention.  This issue was investigated and determined to be unfounded; a lack of factual evidence to support the allegation was cited.' 

"Additional Action

'While evidence did not support disciplinary action, the investigation did reveal behavior among a few employees, including joking and discussions that might be deemed inappropriate by a reasonable person.  Two areas associated with this behavior, the Records Office and the 911/Telecommunications Center, have now been restricted to "official business only." 

'In order to have a more pragmatic approach to addressing workplace harassment in the future, the city has instituted a zero-tolerance policy for harassment in the workplace.  All city employees, including the police department personnel, have received additional harassment prevention training and the city policy regarding sexual and other unlawful harassment has been enhanced, as has the policy regarding city network email and Internet use.  Employees have signed acknowledgements of both policy revisions."  

In later Local News Only witness interviews, one former female officer-who has since taken a job in another police agency-was asked why she had not reported to the Chief a particularly graphic homophobic remark made by her Lieutenant during her tenure at the Colleyville PD.  She stated, "I realized this was an 'at will' city. There might not be open retaliation, but things can happen. I had to consider my whole career."  

Colleyville, unlike many government agencies does not appear to embrace No Fear training for employees.  Note the phrase in the Summary of Investigation, that reads Chief Ingram "reviewed all existing documents, including transcripts of each employee interview."   

Commentary by Linda Baker:
The Mission Statement proclaims, "The Colleyville Police Department is an organization that values Integrity, Service and Innovation."

"Integrity - an unwavering commitment to doing what is right through honesty and respect." 

Then-Officer Chavez was not only willingly engaged in behavior that ultimately cost a man his job, but kept her own complicity from her former Chief.  She has brought dishonor to the City of Colleyville, not "unwavering commitment to doing what is right through honest and respect." 

Whether Corporal Jennifer Chavez has met that value in other professional endeavors is not the issue.  What she has already done is reduce her own credibility to that of a centerfold and cheapened the respect due earnest, hardworking female police officers.

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