Lawrenceville police chief, other officers punished following sexual harassment investigation

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — Lawrenceville’s police chief is in trouble and temporarily off the job.

Chief Tim Wallis is suspended for 10 days following an investigation into sexual harassment that lasted for months.

The investigation began in October, and Channel 2′s Audrey Washington learned Thursday that several people have been penalized, including the chief, who is now on a 10-day suspension.

People in Lawrenceville told Washington that they were shocked by the new developments.

“You can’t just do anything you want and expect to get away with it,” said Cameron Smith.

In a statement from the City of Lawrenceville released Thursday, it said in October, the city became aware of “Internal sexual harassment, hostile work environment, and improper use of city property complaints in the Lawrenceville Police Department.”

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The statement went on to say that an independent party looked into the claims.

“I was disturbed by the findings of the investigation and issued penalties to the appropriate employees, including a requirement for individual training,” city manager Chuck Warbington said.

As a result of the investigation:

Chief Tim Wallis was suspended without pay for 10 days, the assistant chief of police received documented verbal counseling and the entire police department and city staff will have to undergo mandatory, in-person training.

“If people were suspended and people are in counseling, then I feel like justice was served,” Smith said.

A police captain who declined to be interviewed during the investigation resigned from the department before the internal investigation was completed.

That officer also put in his formal retirement from POST as well.

Washington attempted to contact the police chief, the city attorney and city manager for comment about this investigation, but she did not hear back from them.

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