Beach Police Lieutenant Fired after Sexual Harassment Investigation

By: Chad Mira
By: Chad Mira

A veteran Panama City Beach Police Lieutenant is out of a job after an investigation into a sexual harassment claim by another officer. But that isn't the official reason for his termination.

Beach City Manager Richard Jackson fired Lt. Jeff Heath Tuesday. Heath, who's been with the department for nearly 20-years, had been on administrative leave for about 2-months.

The investigation started in March when a female officer filed a complaint with the panama city beach police department about something that happened back in 2007. She said one night she was out with other officers at Salty's Bar when they decided to go to Newby's. She says she was driving Heath around that night because he had been drinking. She accused him of grabbing her breasts and putting his hand down her pants while in the car.

The officer initially filed a complaint with the FDLE, but then withdrew the complaint. After that initial complaint, Then-Chief Robert Harding ordered Heath to avoid contact with the officer and not to talk about the incident. But Tuesday, Chief Whitman said Heath had supposedly openly discussed the alleged incident and complained about the officer to others, on more than 150 occasions. Whitman says heath was fired for violating a director order.

Lt. Jeffrey Heath's official response can be found here: http://www.wjhg.com/news/headlines/Official_Response_From_Lt_Jeffrey_Heath_152830665.html


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