Ga. Deputy Resigns After Sexual Harassment Claims

An investigation into a high-ranking Fulton County sheriff's deputy, accused of sexually harassing women, was closed, without any official findings.


 

ATLANTA --

Channel 2 Action News has obtained records showing an investigation into a high-ranking Fulton County sheriff's deputy, accused of sexually harassing women, was closed, without any official findings.

Investigative reporter Jodie Fleischer obtained the records after filing an open records request in December. That's when Lt. Colonel Michael Wilson resigned from his job as head of courthouse security.

The sheriff's internal affairs unit opened an investigation into Wilson after a female employee filed a complaint against Wilson. Three additional women came forward during the investigation.

"These women were very, very credible. We found no false allegations in their statements," said Maj. Reginald Turner, who oversaw the internal affairs unit at the time.

But records show the investigation was closed, and the allegations "were not investigated to resolution" because Wilson abruptly resigned in the middle of it.

"If you don't have the facts of the person here to be interviewed, that's where it ends," said Turner.

One of the women told Fleischer she was livid when the investigation was closed because of the resignation.

The claims from the women included inappropriate compliments and the promise of promotions. Some alleged retaliation, or fear of retaliation, and didn't come forward until they heard of the first woman's complaint. The sheriff's department is trying to change that culture.

"Let us know. We want to know about it, and we're going to address it. We're going to deal with it," said Turner.

In his resignation letter to Sheriff Ted Jackson, Wilson wrote, "I let myself, you, and others I had the responsibility to serve, down" and he signed it "regrettably."

Because he resigned while under investigation, the Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) which certifies officers, has launched its own case against Wilson.

By phone Wilson told Fleischer he felt "wronged."

His attorney said he wants to be interviewed and polygraphed. But Major Turner said a polygraph had already been scheduled for Wilson back in December, he abruptly resigned the day before.

"Being the commander of that division, I made it my goal to make sure each investigation that came through the office, that everyone was given a fair shake," said Turner.

Wilson's attorney said a POST interview is scheduled for next week, and that Wilson wants a polygraph test to clear his name.

He's alleging that the department violated policy and that the women made false statements.

According to the records, "The investigator interviewed numerous other deputies assigned to Court Services who alleged they were either approached by Lt. Col. Wilson or was involved in some type of relationship with him. The allegations against Lt. Col. Wilson range from alleged sexual harassment to intimidation."

Turner said the fact that there are no official findings against Wilson shouldn't matter, "We feel we came to a conclusion, he did resign."

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