The Brookhaven Police Department’s deputy chief has resigned following allegations of sexual harassment, the city said Friday.
A female lieutenant said her supervisor, Juan Grullon, had made suggestive remarks to her for several years. But his remarks and actions at a Police Department awards event prompted her to report the harassment. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is not identifying the female officer.
In an interview with Channel 2 Action News, Grullon denied all of the allegations against him and said he is a victim because he was asked to resign.
“That's what hurts the most is I've never been given an opportunity to explain anything,” Grullon said. “This has been an emotional roller coaster. You have no idea.”
According to the female lieutenant, Grullon told her at the Brookhaven Police Department Ball and Awards Ceremony on Oct. 13 that he would not have brought his wife if he had known the lieutenant would attend alone.
“I have waited five years for this,” Grullon said, according to an Oct. 29 letter that the lieutenant addressed to the Police Department’s human resources officer.
Grullon said his comments after the awards ceremony meant he had waited five years for the department to host the event. He said he was disappointed that officers left the hotel to socialize elsewhere.
“When some people decided … that they were going to do their own thing, I said, ‘We waited five years for this,’” Grullon said. “Five years waiting for the spouses and for this ball for everyone to do their own thing, and that's where that came from.”
After learning of the allegations, Brookhaven immediately began an investigation, City Manager Christian Sigman told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Friday.
“We don’t think it’s a systemic issue,” Sigman said. “Every police officer, every year, goes through sexual harassment training. The rest of our employees got a refresher earlier this year, as well.”
The investigation into the allegations was closed after Grullon resigned. The lieutenant returned to work Friday, Sigman said.
The department has not yet determined how it will fill Grullon’s position.
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