UPDATE: A Chattanooga city worker who was placed on non-paid administrative leave in early February for allegedly using city resources to work as a prostitute has been terminated.
A disciplinary hearing was held February 22, 2016 for Sherman Higdon. He was let go from his position February 29, 2016.
PREVIOUS STORY: A Chattanooga city worker is on non-paid administrative leave for allegedly using city resources to work as a prostitute.
Records show Sherman Higdon has worked for the city for about four years, most recently as an equipment operator for Public Works.
Investigators recently found explicit text messages, inquires to a Craigslist ad and pictures of naked men on city-issued devices Higdon was using.
"It came through a tip from an employee who was concerned about some images that he saw," Chattanooga Human Resources Director Todd Dockery said.
Those images, on a Public Works cell phone Dockery says was shared among three shifts of the emergency services department.
Investigators also found pictures of nude men on a department computer under Higdon's account. Documents show employees reported receiving phone calls from men inquiring about a Craigslist ad. Some employees told investigators Higdon "wiped" the cell phone of calls and text messages before handing it to the next shift, which violates department policy records show.
Investigators also found, through a GPS attached to his city-owned vehicle, Higdon spent multiple hours during his shift parked next to a TVA public recreation area near Chickamauga Dam.
"Anytime we discover that a work vehicle is outside of the work area, especially for an extended period of time, we take that very seriously and want to follow up and find out what that's all about as well," Dockery added.
When confronted with the findings, Higdon told investigators that he was there talking with people he knew from the police department. Higdon also denied having anything to do with the pictures and text messages telling investigators other employees have his log in information on the computer.
As investigators continue looking into the matter, Dockery can say that the messages and pictures do violate policy.
"Anything that's explicit in nature, offensive, anything that employees might see that is something they don't want to see in the work place," he said.
Channel 3 reached out to Higdon for his side of the story, he declined to comment.
Saturday, January 20 2018 8:07 AM EST2018-01-20 13:07:44 GMT
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