GALENA PARK, Texas - Two Galena Park Police officers are off the force after one sent nude photos of the other to their police chief, Local 2 Investigates reported on Monday.
The female officer snapped the four photos of herself while she and another officer were dating. The photos show her posing in front of the mirror in her underwear, as well as one topless shot of her breasts, and one photo showing her fully nude and posed in a provocative position on her bed.
"We handled it like any police department would," Police Chief Robert Pruett told Local 2 Investigates.
He said his department bans any dating among officers, so he suspended both officers when he found out they were involved.
The female officer, Corrie Long, was suspended for five days while the male officer, Terry Pena, was issued a 10-day suspension.
A lawyer for Pena did not respond to a message seeking comment.
Before Pena could finish his suspension, Pruett said the officer resigned and sent him an e-mail containing the four photos. Pruett said Officer Pena claimed that the female officer was sending him the photos to try and pressure him to resume the relationship.
Long's attorney, David Tang, said it was actually the opposite.
"He's just mad that she called off the relationship, pure and simple," Tang told Local 2 Investigates. "He's mad that she won't continue the relationship with him. He says, as a last measure of getting back at you, I'm going to send these e-mails to your employer, the police chief," said Tang.
In a complaint filed with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Long accused the police chief of interrogating her for an-hour, asking her about specific sex acts.
Her complaint alleges that the nude photos were scattered on the desk as the chief asked her about oral sex and the places where she and the other officer had been having sex.
In her complaint, she writes that the chief and another supervisor began harassing her about the topless photos, saying, "this is how beauty queens lose their crown."
She claims in her complaint that she was forced to resign, which Pruett denies. He said he treated both officers properly by suspending them both for the unauthorized romantic relationship.
"This department handled it in a very professional manner. We handled it in a gracious manner. This was very difficult for this young officer and the other officers involved," said the chief.
"We handled it the best we could and that's all I can say at this point," said Pruett, adding that, "I can't defend myself at this point...because of the (legal) process, other than to say that they're outrageous allegations and none of them are true."
Long's attorney said numerous officers have been recording their conversations with the chief, and Tang alleges that those tapes show the chief treats women differently than men.
He said his client, Officer Long, took the photos of herself before she was a Galena Park Police officer. He also said the photos were sent to the chief over a private e-mail account, rather than his official city e-mail.
"The chief didn't protect her from it. He called her in and just re-victimized her again by exploring her sexual history and threatening to expose these photographs if she didn't resign," said Tang.
Tang also claimed in his EEOC filing that Pruett ignored sexual allegations against another officer who had admitted to a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old high school girl he had encountered during the department's DARE functions. Tang played a tape for Local 2 Investigates in which an officer bragged of having sex with the 17-year-old, but Pruett said those allegations were investigated and found to be false.
Long had agreed to sit down and speak with Local 2 Investigates about the photos she took, but she did not show up for the arranged meeting on Monday afternoon.
The police chief filed a defamation of character lawsuit Tuesday morning in Harris County District Court, alleging that Long and her lawyer are spreading lies against him as part of this case.
"I'm very disappointed. I take great, great pride in my integrity," said Pruett.
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