An Ogden police officer accused of sexually harassing a dispatcher has been granted a hearing before the Ogden Civil Service Commission to appeal his one-day suspension by city officials.
Dispatcher Kim McAllister filed a sexual harassment complaint with the city last February against Officer George Kruitbosch.The complaint alleged that a "humorous" tape recorded by Kruitbosch made specific sexual references to McAllister.
It also accused Kruitbosch of carving sexual references to McAllister into a desk in a police briefing room; telling others that she and another dispatcher were involved in a lesbian relationship; and referring to her as "a bitch" in a conversation with his wife.
Ogden Management Services Director L. Nate Pierce investigated the allegations and handed down a one-day suspension without pay for Kruitbosch along with a six-month probationary period.
Kruitbosch, with the financial backing of the Ogden Police Benefit Association, appealed the decision to City Manager Cowles Mallory, who upheld the suspension.
The appeal then went to the Civil Service Commission, which held a pretrial conference on the matter Wednesday. The commission agreed to hear the appeal July 6.
The complaint said most of the alleged incidents occurred in 1987, but some occurred into 1988, Pierce said.
Kruitbosch and his attorney, Brian Florence, have maintained the content of the tape, which has since been destroyed, was not sexually derogatory toward the dispatcher.
The tape was recorded in such a fashion that when it was played back, the voices were distorted in a higher pitch and speech patterns were quickened.
The officer also denies making any lesbianism references about either dispatcher and denies making the carving in the desk.
Pierce said his investigation found no evidence that Kruitbosch made the carving or derogatory comments about the two dispatchers. His decision to suspend Kruitbosch was based on the tape, he said.
Mallory upheld Pierce's findings as to the nature of the tape and determined further that the recording was made on city time and was therefore "unprofessional," regardless of the subject matter.
Officer Phil Howell, president of the Ogden Police Benefit Association, said the organization will pay Florence's fees for the appeals - a common practice if the governing body agrees the appealing officer has a valid case.