A police chief in Oklahoma is accused of harassing the gay owners of a local businesses, and sticking his finger down the butt cracks of officers.
David Hanson, the police chief in Seminole, Okla., admitted using gay slurs in text messages with Todd Holliday, who runs a local office supply businesses with his husband, Justin.
But Hanson insisted he is not homophobic, saying the Hollidays are family friends and calling the slurs “cordial, off-color texts.” In one text, Hanson referred to himself as the Hollidays’ “daddy,” while other messages were “too vulgar” to be included in a story by KFOR-TV.
“We shouldn’t have to endure that,” Todd Holliday told the station. “No one should, especially from the head of the police department.
“The police chief with the Seminole police department calls me names,” Holliday added. “Very derogatory, very slanderous names that no one should ever call anyone. … It’s been awful.”
Lt. Michael Burnett, a 16-year veteran of the police department, said Hanson also harasses employees.
“Being berated is a daily abuse,” Burnett said. “It’s gotten to the point where none of us want to come to work.
“We get called fat — we’re too fat, ‘you’re too fat’ to do this,” Burnett added. “I’ve seen him do that to our secretary as well, the female secretary that works there. I’ve seen him throw papers at her and just treat her terrible. … And insert his finger into the crack of the back of your pants pretty forcefully. It happened on numerous occasions.”
In a statement, Hanson didn’t address Burnett’s allegations, citing “personnel issues,” but he called the Hollidays’ claims “shocking.” The Hollidays reportedly would see Hanson every day because the city is one of their biggest clients.
“They both know I am not homophobic,” Hanson said. “We exchanged cordial, off-color texts. They texted wild gay comments and made fun of me being Jewish. I responded with off-color jokes. Not one time did I ever detect that any remark made was unwelcome or offensive. There were certainly no feelings of hostility. … If I have offended them or the LBGTQ community in any way, I most sincerely apologize. This is one of those life-learning lessons that come at great cost and I have certainly been humbled by this experience.”
City Manager Steve Saxon said in a statement that officials have launched “an outside investigation” into “complaints against the Police Chief by members of the Fraternal Order of Police and a member of the public.”
“We consider all complaints of this nature very serious,” Saxon said.
Lt. Burnett said he believes Hanson should be fired, while Holliday said he fears for his safety after going public.
“I’m afraid we’re going to have a target on our back,” Holliday said.
Watch reports from KFOR below.