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'Disturbed by the findings' | Lawrenceville police chief suspended after sexual harassment, hostile workplace investigation

City Manager Chuck Warbington said he was 'disturbed by the findings' of an investigation into sexual harassment and hostile work environment complaints.

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — Lawrenceville's police chief has been suspended for 10 days without pay following an investigation into complaints about sexual harassment and a hostile work environment inside the department.

It was not clear against whom in the Lawrenceville Police Department the sexual harassment claim was made. In addition to Chief Tim Wallis' suspension, the department's assistant chief will be required to take "documented verbal counseling."

Lawrenceville City Manager Chuck Warbington said he was "disturbed" by the findings in the investigation, which was conducted by a third party. 

A captain on the force also "declined to be interviewed as part of the investigation and announced his unsolicited resignation from the City and the retirement from POST before the investigation was completed," the city said.

The complaints were first lodged in October 21 and the city said its "decisions related to all personnel matters" were finalized last week.

The city said additional measures being taken include:

  • Mandatory in-person training for police department employees as well as the entire city staff
  • A city-wide emphasis on redirection of staff to the personnel policy addressing work place behavior and related expectations.
  • A clear city-wide communication process for submission of confidential employee complaints

“I was disturbed by the findings of the investigation and issued penalties to the appropriate employees, including a requirement for individual training,” Warbington said in a statement. “The City of Lawrenceville prides itself as an inclusive and safe work place for all employees. The workplace culture revealed through this investigation did not meet the standards of excellence expected of all departments in the City. This is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”

On Jan. 17, Police Chief Tim Wallis issued a 13-page statement to Lawrenceville City Manager Chuck Warbington, where he denied the allegations.  

"I humbly ask this disciplinary action be removed or at the very least reduced," the letter concluded, with Wallis calling the allegations 'false" and "unsubstantiated."

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