FORT WORTH -- A Fort Worth police sergeant has been suspended for 30 days without pay and demoted one rank after an internal investigation found that he had inappropriately touched two female colleagues and sent obscene text messages to several others.
D. Yerigan, a 24-year veteran of the department, had requested the suspension and demotion to the rank of corporal/detective in lieu of termination, stating in a letter to Police Chief Jeffrey Halstead, "I take full responsibility for my actions," according to civil service documents obtained Tuesday by the Star-Telegram.
Yerigan, whose suspension took effect Friday, declined to comment when reached by telephone Tuesday.
According to a disciplinary letter filed with the Civil Service Commission on Monday afternoon, the department began investigating Yerigan after Halstead's office received an anonymous letter June 21, citing examples of inappropriate behavior by Yerigan toward several female employees.
During the investigation, several female employees confirmed that Yerigan had created a hostile work environment by violating the city's sexual harassment policy, the documents state.
Yerigan is accused of inappropriately touching two female employees on the buttocks and sending "inappropriate, unsolicited, obscene and graphic" text messages to several female employees during a week in March and throughout June.
"Sgt. Yerigan continued the sexual harassment despite being told by the female employees to stop the behavior," states the letter, signed by Halstead.
The documents state that Yerigan also used his city computer to send improper e-mails to several female employees.
According to the disciplinary letter, Yerigan admitted to investigators that he violated the sexual harassment policy. In his request to the chief that he not be fired, Yerigan, who had held the rank of sergeant for six years, stated that he has "an exemplary record with no disciplinary action taken against me as a supervisor and I am respected throughout the department."
Deanna Boyd, 817-390-7655