Tennessee police chief fired after termination of 5 officers in sex scandal

LA VERGNE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee police chief has been fired following an investigation into a sex scandal that also led to five officers being terminated.

La Vergne Police Chief Burrel “Chip” Davis was fired Monday, news outlets reported, citing a statement from the city just outside Nashville.

“The third-party investigator concluded Davis was aware of the sexual misconduct within his department and never reported or disciplined any of the officers involved,” the statement said.

Five officers were fired and three others suspended last month following an investigation into the allegations. La Vergne, which is 20 miles (32 kilometers) southeast of Nashville, has a population of 39,000, according to the U.S. Census. Its 60-person police department now has 12 vacancies with Davis’ dismissal.

La Vergne Mayor Jason Cole began investigating the department in December after getting an anonymous complaint, according to an investigative report that WSMV-TV obtained through a records request. The investigation found that some officers who worked second shift were engaging in unreported sexual relationships, having sex on duty and on city-owned property, and committing sexual harassment by sending explicit photos and videos.

“There aren’t words to describe the disappointment and frustration felt by myself and other city leaders,” Cole said on Monday. “Officers are held to a higher standard, even more so is their chief.”

Deputy Chief Brent Hatcher will lead the agency while the city conducts a nationwide search for a new chief, the city said.