La Vergne officials address sexual misconduct among police officers after scathing report

Posted at 5:03 PM, Jan 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-09 19:06:38-05

LA VERGNE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Shocked and disappointed — those are the words from one city leader as several La Vergne police officers are off the job, all linked to a sexual misconduct scandal.

"Shocked and overall disappointed with our police department and what's happened," said newly-elected alderman Kara Hobbs.

Since the story broke on Friday, she's been flooded with constituent calls.

"It's been really frustrating from a leadership standpoint to have citizen questions, and I'm learning the details right along with the general public."

Here is what we know.

An internal investigative report documents explicit and graphic detail of officers involved in sexual misconduct — some happening while on duty and on city property.

Five have been fired: patrol officer Megan Hall, patrol officer Juan Lugo Perez, Sgt. Lewis Powell, detective Seneca Shields and Sgt. Henry Ty McGowan.

Three others have been suspended: K-9 officer Larry Holladay, patrol officer Patrick Magliocco and patrol officer Gavin Schoeberl.

Hobbs said details of the investigation made public so far have shaken public confidence in the police department.

"There's definitely a time period now to rebuild the trust in our community yeah."

Police chief Chip Davis issued a statement saying in part "the actions of a few do not represent the entire department." He also said the situation will be addressed internally and counselors are being brought in to help officers.

He added there is sufficient staff remaining to cover all patrol shifts.

At this point, these are all internal police department violations. NewsChannel 5 talked with the Rutherford County district attorney, who said there is no evidence of criminal activity, but he will be watching very closely.

Mayor Jason Cole also issued a statement saying in part that the situation is unacceptable and that the top priority moving forward is to rebuild the public trust.

Mayor Cole says he has full confidence in the police department's leadership team and their ability to lead the department.

He adds that all employees will be retrained in the rules, regulations and expectations set forth by the city.

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