Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Insensitive Remarks Lead to Chief's Resignation; Report: Green Cove Springs Police Chief Made Offensive Comments to Officer, Violating City Policy

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Insensitive Remarks Lead to Chief's Resignation; Report: Green Cove Springs Police Chief Made Offensive Comments to Officer, Violating City Policy

Article excerpt

Byline: Garrett Pelican garrett.pelican@jacksonville.com

A review of a racial discrimination complaint against former Green Cove Springs Police Chief Robert Musco found evidence that Musco made racially offensive remarks toward a subordinate and then tried to thwart an investigation into the complaint.

Those findings were detailed in a report produced by a labor law firm hired by the city to review the allegations after they surfaced last month. The report said Musco violated city policy by subjecting Officer Kimberly Robinson to workplace harassment and again when he put pressure on her superior to convince her to drop the complaint.

It found Musco, who led the department for 11 years, should have been aware of the city's policy banning workplace harassment. "The policy was not upheld when the comments were made nor when attempts were made to create alliances among other leaders within the police department in an effort to influence the outcome of the investigation," according to the report.

Musco, who had been placed on administrative leave since Feb. 6, chose to resign quietly last Thursday rather than face removal from command. In a phone interview Monday, city manager Danielle Judd condemned Musco's behavior.

"We won't tolerate this kind of behavior in any department," said Judd, who said the chief did not deny making the remarks. "... It's not an atmosphere I would want any employee to work in."

Attempts to reach Musco on Monday were not successful.

His resignation letter documents a list of accomplishments as police chief but makes no mention of the complaint. "I am proud of my accomplishments, and leave the [department] much better able to address community needs today, than when I first arrived," he wrote in part.

Robinson could not be reached for comment Monday.

During the investigation, though, she expressed concerns that Musco's repeated attempts to win over her two supervisors demonstrated retaliation and were a sign of things to come, according to the report.

The complaint stemmed from a Jan. 12 conversation involving Musco, Robinson, Assistant Chief Derek Asdot and two others, according to the report. …

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