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A former employee at the jail says a sergeant sexually harassed her in 1999.
By CHRIS TISCH
© St. Petersburg Times, published March 15, 2001
LARGO -- A sergeant at the Pinellas County Jail has been reprimanded for making inappropriate comments to subordinates, and a lieutenant has been disciplined for failing to report the complaints to investigators.
Lt. Marshall Schmidt and Sgt. David Smith received written reprimands last week. Schmidt has been with the Sheriff's Office for 21 years, Smith for 18 years. Neither has been disciplined previously.
The allegations stem from incidents that occurred in 1999. They did not come to light until recently, when the father of a female ex-employee told the Sheriff's Office's personnel director that his daughter had been sexually harassed while working at the jail.
The director told investigators, who called the man's daughter. She told them Smith had sexually harassed her while she worked in a control room at the jail. She said that almost nightly, Smith would make inappropriate comments and touch her under her arm and next to her breast.
Investigators determined the woman had told another supervisor, Sgt. Lee Glover, about the problem, and Glover then told Schmidt.
According to Sheriff's Office policy, Schmidt should have alerted investigators. Instead, he relied on the word of Glover, who said he had taken care of the problem and that the alleged victim did not want to move forward with the complaint.
The woman denied saying that.
During the recent investigation, two other female employees made sexual harassment complaints against Smith.
But because of inconsistent and conflicting testimony from those employees, an administrative review board didn't sustain a sexual harassment charge against Smith.
Smith denied the charges of sexual harassment.