Multiple Lucas County corrections officers disciplined, fired for unbecoming behavior

Published: Mar. 11, 2020 at 10:38 PM EDT
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More than two months after opening an investigation, seven Lucas County Jail corrections officers are either on suspension or off the job.

“They violated the rules and regulations of our department," Detective Rob Sarahman said.

Sarahman is one of the deputies who reviewed claims by a female corrections officer of sexual and racial harassment via text from her superiors. Sarahman said a deeper dive revealed the officer wasn't the only one targeted.

"There were pictures, there were texts that were being sent in between like a group text — very inappropriate, sexual in nature," Sarahman said.

Documents show Lt. John Coleman was fired on March 3 on 10 counts of unbecoming conduct and three counts of racial and sexual remarks or harassment. It comes after investigators revealed Coleman had contacted 11 female co-workers, some of them married, and commented on their appearance and asked them to hang out.

"This was not acceptable, and that's why the action was taken as such by Sheriff (John) Tharp," Sarahman said.

Further investigation also revealed sergeants Anthony Moesenthin and David Martin acted unprofessionally.

Moesenthin was fired after sending inappropriate, doctored photos of female co-workers to group chats. Meanwhile, Martin chose retirement in lieu of punishment for pursuing a married co-worker multiple times, even asking about her turn-ons.

"This wasn't acceptable as far as what their actions were," Sarahman said.

Two other corrections officers, Stephanie Frasure and Lee Heckel, opted for 70 unpaid suspension days with union representation for participating in group texts.

It's behavior that Detective Sarahman said is simply unacceptable for sheriff's office employees.

“They violated the rules and regulations of our department," Sarahman said.

Two other corrections officers involved in the case are also off the job for different reasons. Documents show Julie Garner was fired after not accepting a settlement offer, and Gary Moore resigned after taking another job elsewhere.