Saturday, July 27, 2002

Ruling on officer next week


Personnel director, chief agree on dismissal

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer contributor

        FAIRFIELD — A suspended Fairfield police officer should learn early next week whether he will be dismissed from the department for sexual misconduct with a minor.

        Fairfield Human Resources Director Ken McFarland concurred Friday with Police Chief Michael Dickey in his recommendation to dismiss officer Thomas Lucas, who has been on paid leave since April 11, when the allegations surfaced.

        Last week Officer Luas was ordered to turn in his gun and badge.

        Acting City Manager Dennis Stuckey reviewed the report Friday afternoon and said a decision would be made next week.

        Before his suspension, Officer Lucas had been a Drug Abuse Resistance Education officer assigned to Fairfield Intermediate School.

        None of the allegations against the officer involved students from that school or his job.

        In a seven-page report to Mr. Stuckey, Mr. McFarland outlined allegations against the officer during a July 23 pre-disciplinary hearing. In the report, two incidents involving a now-14-year-old female were described:

        In fall 2000 the girl had accompanied Officer Lucas to an off-duty assignment at the Wildwood Apartments and he fondled her in his car.

        Three months later, she was alone with Officer Lucas again and fell asleep on a coach at his Hamilton home. She was awakened when she felt him fondling her.

        During the hearing, copies of the girl's diary were presented.

        In it she described her feelings about reporting the incidents to her school counselor. Six affidavits dated between April 17 and 30 from the minors' friends all tell a consistent story about the incidents, the report says.

        Twice this month the officer took polygraph tests and both times the examiner determined the officer tried to skew results, according to the report.

        “These actions are consistent with a person who is not being truthful regarding the matter they are being investigated for,” the report said.

        Attorney Stephen Lazarus said Officer Lucas denied the allegations and pointed out some discrepancies. Further, he pointed to Officer's Lucas' record and said no criminal charges against him were filed.

        A grand jury declined to indict Officer Lucas last month. If he is dismissed, it would be for violating the police department's rule of conduct in four areas: unbecoming conduct, immoral conduct, insubordination and truthfulness.

       



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