School Board responds to Police Chief sex scandal
MIAMI (WSVN) -- The Miami-Dade County School Board responded to a sex scandal revolving around its top law enforcer, Wednesday.
Two women who work with Miami-Dade Schools Police Chief Charles Hurley accused their colleague of repeated sexual harassment and have filed lawsuits against the school board. One of the plaintiffs' attorneys suggested that more victims might file charges as well.
Both lawsuits were filed Monday by Commander Deanna Fox-Williams and Officer Yewande Gibson. They are seeking $1.1 million each in damages. "It was very demoralizing, because throughout my entire career I've been a very private person," said Commander Deanna Fox-Williams, who is claiming sexual harassment and emotional harm.
They are pointing their finger directly at Hurley. The police chief was reassigned in May 2012 after it was reported he was facing sexual harassment allegations and criticized for frequent use of the Baker Act against students. Also known as the Florida Mental Health Act of 1971, the Baker Act is a Florida law that allows for involuntary examination of an individual.
"From day to day you never knew what was going to happen, because he was aggressive," said Fox-Williams. In the lawsuit, she claims that Hurley "would repeatedly approach [her] at the School Board Administration Building, make sexual comments, request sex and tell [her] to meet her at an apartment in Hallandale."
Fox-Williams also contends in the legal document that Hurley "stated that he would like to have sex with [her] on [her] desk." The lawsuit also names the school board, the school police and Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.
"It's my client's contention that the people above [Hurley], all the way to the superintendent, knew what was going on," said Willie Gary, Fox-Williams' attorney. The school board released a prepared statement saying it could not comment on current litigation.
Nevertheless, added school board spokesman Jimmie L. Brown as he read from the statement, "the district took immediate and swift action after being notified of the allegation. An investigation was launched, and the employee was reassigned, relieving him of all law enforcement responsibilities."
Fox-Williams still works for the department, and said she is appalled that Hurley still has his job, as well. His case remains under investigation. Gary is certain that more of these lawsuits could be coming in the next few days.
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