BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (May 6, 2014) – Earlier this year the Battle Creek Deputy Police Chief Jim Saylor along with Police Inspector Maria Alonso were placed on administrative leave while the city’s Human Resource Department conducted an internal investigation into allegations of an inappropriate relationship between the two that created a hostile work environment.
Through independent journalist Autumn Smith from Paleo Radio, FOX 17 was given access to the findings of the city’s investigation that ultimately led to the dismissal of both officers.
Battle Creek City Manager Susan Bedsole sent both Saylor and Alonso a three page letter highlighting the main reasons for their termination.
Both letters reference a company iPad that was wiped clean of all information. According to the letter, “This had the effect of destroying all information and records on your iPad.” The city manager said that was a violation of the general duty not to destroy information for an on-going investigation.
The letter also cites examples of the inappropriate relationship between Alonso and Saylor. The letter states witnesses who saw, “…the two of you kiss, seeing the two of you in an intimate position in a parked vehicle.” All of which the city manager says created a hostile work environment especially since the ex-husband of Alonso also works for the Battle Creek Police Department.
Alonso is accused of conducting an investigation of a suspected theft in the women’s locker room by setting up a camera in an attempt to catch the crime in progress. The city manager says more than 100 videos were recorded in the locker room and all but two were deleted. A CD containing the ‘deleted’ files was found later calling Alonso’s credibility into question.
The ‘hidden camera investigation’ is now part of a civil lawsuit filed by various female officers against Alonso and other defendants.