Details emerging in sexual harassment claim against Chief Lovett - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Details emerging in sexual harassment claim against Chief Lovett


Despite Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Chief Willie Lovett's resignation, city officials say the investigation into a claim of sexual harassment against him are ongoing.

Sources within the department confirm that allegation was made by Detective Trina Mayes 
Detective Mayes is no stranger to the spotlight. In May 2012, she fired her gun at a kidnapping suspect on Broughton Street. That suspect fled into the iconic Olde Pink House restaurant, leading to an hours-long police standoff that brought downtown to a standstill.

Two months later, Detective Mayes was back in the news, when it surfaced that she and her husband, Sgt. Laprentice Mayes, had gotten into a violent domestic dispute at their Pooler home. Trina Mayes was working as a domestic violence detective at the time. According to a police report, she told Pooler officers her husband tried to hit her with an iron and threatened to kill her.

No charges were brought. Both Laprentice and Trina Mayes remain on the metro police force.
Savannah city officials have been in nearly non-stop meetings since the sexual harassment allegation surfaced a week and a half ago.

When Lovett retired abruptly after the allegation, he was not given a severance. He will receive his retirement pension and city health insurance for the rest of his life.

Pending lawsuits, brought by Capt. Dean Fagertrom and Capt. Charles Hall likely will cost the city more money. Fagerstrom and Hall claim Lovett said the successful candidate for an open major's position had to be white.

Fagerstrom is of Asian descent, and Hall is African-American.

Defendants in that lawsuit include Lovett and the city.

The City Council already had decided to defend Lovett in those lawsuits before the sexual harassment allegation was brought, according to City Attorney Brooks Stillwell.
Trina Mayes has retained an attorney, but as of the close of business day Monday, she had not filed any legal action against Lovett.

If she does, the taxpayers may not foot the bill for a legal defense.
"If other suits are filed in the future, that's up to the council on a case-by-case basis," Stillwell said. "That's been the city's policy in the past."

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