Tennessee police chief fired after investigator concludes he knew about sex scandal that rocked department
The Tennessee police chief whose department was shocked by revelations that at least five male officers had sex with a female officer – both on and off the job – has been fired.
La Vergne Police Chief Burrel “Chip” Davis was released on Monday after a “third-party investigator” concluded he was aware of what was going on but had not disciplined any of the police, the city said in a statement.
“The finding also indicates that Davis obstructed the initial sexual misconduct investigation, ‘contrary to city policy, and enabled — if not encouraged — conduct potentially contrary to federal and state law,'” says the press release.
Deputy Chief Brent Hatcher has been named acting chief of the 60-person department in suburban Nashville while the city searches for a permanent replacement.
“There are no words to describe the disappointment and frustration felt by myself and other city leaders,” said La Vergne Mayor Jason Cole. “Officers are held to a higher standard, even more their leader.”
Davis’ departure came after the former officer at the center of the sex scandal, Maegan Hall, filed a complaint with the State’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging that Davis favored an environment that encouraged this type of illicit behavior, Nashville-based NBC affiliate WSMV reported. .
The ex-chief, who is not charged with sexual misconduct, was placed on paid administrative leave after the city was notified that Hall had filed a complaint with the EEOC, according to the affiliate.
“The actions of a few do not represent the department as a whole,” Davis said last month when the story broke. The officers involved were accused of attending “Girls Gone Wild” parties, having sex at the police station, and sharing photos of their genitals on their cellphones.
Hall was discharged last month along with four male officers: Sgt. Lewis Powell, sergeant. Henry Ty McGowan, Detective Seneca Shields and Officer Juan Lugo-Perez.
Agents Larry Holladay, Patrick Magliocco and Gavin Schoeberl have been suspended.
Magliocco and Schoeberl are back from their suspensions, while Holladay has resigned from the force, city spokeswoman Anne Smith said.
In addition to trying to reach Davis for comment, NBC News reached out to all of the officers who were fired or suspended but received no response. They were also accused of obstructing the investigation by lying about their actions and breaking departmental rules against having sex while on duty.
The department’s investigation began Dec. 12 after a police sergeant informed Cole that Hall “had intimate relationships” with other officers, according to a report obtained by WSMV that detailed the allegations.
When questioned, Powell, Magliocco, Holladay, Shields and Lugo-Perez all admitted to having sex with Hall, the report said.
Hall also admitted to having sex with these officers and with McGowan as well. She said she also shared nude images with Holladay, Magliocco, McGowan and Schoeberl.
Shields told city investigators that Hall performed oral sex on her in the police gymnasium after initially claiming, “I never had sex with Maegan Hall,” the report said.
Powell also initially denied having sex with Hall, according to the report. He later admitted in the report that he too had had oral sex with Hall while on duty at a police station.
Magliocco told investigators that in addition to having sex with Hall, she also offered to “do things” with him and his wife. Holladay also reported that Hall floated the idea of having a threesome with him and his “ex”.
In what the report describes as contentious interviews with senior police officers, McGowan admitted he went to Hall’s house with another woman and exposed her genitals. He was also accused of trying to intimidate a city human resources assistant by grabbing her by the neck.
“McGowan claims it was playful, but it was unwanted and an aggressive form of physical contact that is not permitted at work,” the report said.