Officer Caught Sexual Misconduct on Tape But Alabama Sheriff Punished Her Instead

Sheriff Blake Dorning

Madison County, Alabama Sheriff is being sued for discrimination after members of the office allege multiple cases of sexual misconduct without consequence, one of which was caught on tape.

According to WHNT, a lawsuit claims that Marina Garcia, who’s worked as an investigator for 21 years, was the subject of Sheriff Blake Dorning’s retaliation after reporting the problems to supervisors. The problems began after she was transferred to work in the Sex Offender Registration Notification Act (SORNA) office in 2004, according to the suit.

Garcia ultimately set up recording equipment to catch a deputy in the Criminal Investigation Division involved in a sex act. Her attorney explained that she concluded she was forced to record the incident to prove what she was experiencing.

“Investigator Garcia felt it would be futile to complain to Sheriff Dorning and Chief Deputy Sheriff Jernigan,” said attorney Michael Weathers. “That nothing would be done and her only recourse within the sheriff’s office was to video and audio record what was going on.”

The lawsuit comes after Garcia said she was punished, threatened and demoted after complaining about a culture of harassment and a relationship between a supervisor and a subordinate. The suit says that Garcia complained to supervisor Charles Berry, who is also named as a defendant in the case. He is alleged to have been having an affair with an anonymous female subordinate staffer.

“Investigator Garcia complained and reported that because of Anonymous’s relationship with Cpt. (Charles) Berry, Anonymous would take over Garcia’s job and tell Investigator Garcia what to do and not to do,” the lawsuit claims.

She alleged Berry’s relationship with the subordinate hindered with her work and made for a hostile workplace.

The suit alleges that the anonymous woman used Garcia’s desk chair as part of a prop in performing oral sex on male sheriff’s staffers as well as her ruler to measure the size of their penises.

“Investigator Garcia complained that Cpt. Berry’s relationship with Anonymous was based on sexual favoritism,” the lawsuit says. “Investigator Garcia complained and reported that Anonymous did what was expected of her by male supervisors in the Sheriff’s Office in order to obtain favorable performance evaluations and power in the Sheriff’s Office, to get favorable job assignments, and to further advance herself as far as the male dominated supervisory staff of the Sheriff’s Office would allow her to advance.”

The suit also complains of a culture of racism within the department with racial slurs used for Latinos. There were also questions by officers about the immigration status of Garcia’s husband.

“Investigator Garcia was told by Lt. Ron Derting to not help any Hispanics/Mexicans with car tags or anything else in any shape, form, or fashion,” the suit claims. “Lt. Derting told Investigator Garcia that Hispanics/Mexicans would blow up the Madison County, Alabama Courthouse.”

Berry is also accused of using slurs about a senior African-American employee. Another person in the department clashed over the proportion of African-American staffers.

Another allegation is that Capt Michael Salomonsky, who chairs the Criminal Investigations Division had “inappropriate posters” on his office walls. One read: “NOTICE SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN THIS AREA WILL NOT BE REPORTED, HOWEVER, IT WILL BE ‘GRADED.’”

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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