VA Officer Resigns Amid Sexual Harassment Charges

Sergeant Michael Coker, a 20-year veteran of the Portsmouth Police Department in Virginia, has resigned rather than be fired, after the city paid $300,000 to settle complaints of sexual harassment against him. Three female officers in the department allege that Coker made harassing comments to them, touched them inappropriately, and tried to kiss them while they were on duty. They filed their complaints with the department last fall, and after no response, took their complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which found merit in their claims. Coker denied all allegations, saying that he didn’t work directly with the women, and actually considered himself to be a mentor to two of them. Because he was able to take early retirement instead of being fired, Coker will receive life-long health benefits, and a yearly income equal to 60% of the average of his three highest years of pay.


Virginian Pilot, 08/23/02

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