A multiweek investigation, which included interviewing several employees, turned up no evidence of inappropriate actions or comments from Bonito toward employees, according to Ferrell.
But the chief said Bonito ended up admitting that about 10 years ago when he was a sergeant he made a statement that included an “inappropriate derogatory racial term,” but that the statement was “not directed toward any employee.” He also admitted to speaking about the incident and his “regret for it to coworkers” about five years ago.
As a result, Bonito was removed from several leadership positions, transferred to a different shift and suspended for 40 hours without pay, Ferrell said. He will also be required to attend multiple training classes related to the findings of the internal investigation.
The officers who made the complaint were not employed by Marietta police when Bonito originally made the statement, police confirmed.
Ferrell said the police department does not tolerate racism and takes such allegations very seriously. “We appreciate the officers who brought forward their concerns,” he said.