FORT OGLETHORPE, GA (WRCB) -- In a Tuesday hearing, Fort Oglethorpe City Council members voted to remove fellow Councilman Charles Sharrock from the council, after facing his third allegation of sexually-harassing a city employee.
Our crew reports the decision to remove Sharrock came after about five minutes of deliberating.
A unanimous vote by the remaining four council members was required for Sharrock's removal.
Sharrock stands accused of malfeasance, illegal conduct and conduct unbecoming for allegedly hugging, kissing, rubbing police officer on October 9 of this year.
This marks the third allegation against Sharrock; he has also been accused of, and admitted similar incidents in September 2008 and June 2009.
During the proceedings Tuesday, Charles Sharrock's attorney Renzo Wiggins objected to mention of previous incidents and any attempts to remove Sharrock from office, stating the "Charter doesn't allow it."
Charles Sharrock was first on the stand. Fort Oglethorpe City Attorney Robbie Stultz asked Sharrock whether he understood his Oath of Office and City Charter.
Stultz continued: "Are you aware that sexual harassment policy includes unwanted touching?" Sharrock replied "Yes."
On the stand, Sharrock confirmed that Fort Oglethorpe Police Department Detective Tammy Davis was working October 9, the date the incident allegedly occurred.
Sharrock said "I put my arm on Davis' shoulder. Said 'I like this girl' after Davis made 'aggressive statement.' "
Sharrock conceded that he told City Manager Ron Goulart, in meeting October 12 that he would stay away from Det. Davis and out of Police Department.
Attorney Robbie Stultz worked to remind Sharrock that Goulart had gotten him to "stay away" from female city employees after incident in 2009.
Sharrock concedes he attended course on sex harassment in September 2008 after incident with another employee, Jill Lacey.
"Goulart told me all city employees and workers would have to take these courses," Sharrock also stated.
Sharrock admits he initiated contact with all three women. "It's not physical contact by me if a city worker comes up and gives me a hug."
Accuser Detective Sgt. Davis took the stand afterwards. She recalled the incident as "inside the police department." She also noted the door has chimes and a dispatcher can observe most of area.
Davis said she was working when Councilman Sharrock came into the work area October 9. "He approached me immediately." she said.
"Sharrock put his left arm around my waist, he was rubbing my back, he kept asking me if I was okay. I didn't expect that." Davis said on the stand.
Davis had been suspended for wrecking her Fort Oglethorpe Police Department-issued Volkswagen Passat. Sharrock told her "Don't let it happen again."
Davis also said "I knew he had defended me. I assumed he meant there was nothing more than he could do." She said Sharrock stayed there a few more minutes.
"I left. I reported incident to my supervising Lieutenant and discussed the incident with Beverly Neal, fellow employee who witnessed incident." Davis stated. "I felt afraid, intimidated and still do. Touching made me feel disgusted and violated."
Sharrock attorney Renzo Wiggins asks Davis to review her suspension, asking if was she suspended while incident occurred.
Det. Davis clarified: "I'd just come back from suspension in September." Wiggins: "He (Sharrock) didn't try to get you to do anything? Davis: "No."
Attorney Wiggins asked "What kept you from saying 'Don't hug me.' ?" Davis: I'd become aware for several years that Council members wanted me fired. I was afraid."
Davis elaborated: "I thought this (Sharrock's behavior) was the price of that support." Wiggins replied: "You don't believe he was trying to console you?"
Wiggins: "He didn't try to hide anything or do something in secret. You didn't take any action to tell him you were uncomfortable?" Davis: "I didn't think it was my place to."
After a lunch recess, the first witness was Beverly Neal, Fort Oglethorpe Police Department records clerk and dispatch desk attendant who saw incident with Detective Tammy and Councilman Charles Sharrock October 9.
Neal said she was talking with Davis and saw Sharrock enter and ask Davis about her car and whether she'd gotten it back. She said she saw Sharrock put arm around Davis and kiss her. Neal said she was alarmed. Sharrock told her it'd be all right, but "Don't let it (car wreck) happen again."
Sharrock Attorney Renzo Williams asked Neal "Did Tammy Davis ever say anything?" Neal:"Her actions showed, by pulling away. I was uncomfortable."
Fort Oglethorpe City Attorney Robbie Stultz calls to the stand an employee who accused Sharrock of inappropriate behavior in June 2009; former Fort Oglethorpe Police Officer Stephanie Sliger.
Sliger was laid off in May 2010. On the stand, she confirmed the Police Chief and City Manager Goulart asked her to put statement in writing.
Sliger said "Sharrock told her 'I didn't get my hug' and he kissed me. It made me uncomfortable. I reported it. But I didn't want to get in trouble."
Wiggins asked Sliger "Nobody reported anything at the time?" Sliger replied "It was about a week later." Wiggins responded with "Your story back then was different?"
Wiggins then questioned what he said were discrepancies in where Sharrock kissed her. Wiggins asked Sliger "Are you making something up then or now?"
Sliger said "Not then or now. The 2009 version is most likely more accurate." Wiggins asked "Didn't you leave after a psych evaluation?" to which Sliger replied it was during a divorce.
Wiggins continued "Weren't you having delusions of persecution?" Sliger responded "That's what they wrote. They offered me a choice of Family Medical Leave or to resign."
Wiggins: "You thought you'd perceived instances of abuse throughout your marriage?" Sliger: "Yes." Wiggins: "Didn't you and he hug before?" Sliger: "Yes."
The third accuser Jill (Lacy) Winn said she recorded the 2008 incident with Sharrock. "It happened over course of a period of time. If I saw him coming, I left," she said.
Wynn: I just try to avoid all contact with him (Sharrock). It has become increasingly more uncomfortable. Told coworkers: he creeps me out"
"Sharrock came to my office for no good reason except to chit-chat. He would come around the desk, I felt pinned in" Wynn said. "It started as a hug. I didn't know how to approach Charles about it. I didn't know whether it'd bring me trouble or get me fired."
Thursday, May 23 2013 1:42 PM EDT2013-05-23 17:42:02 GMT
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