Iroquois Co. (ECWd) -
The State of Illinois Department of Human Rights Investigation into the allegations of sexual harassment by Police Chief Jeremy Douglas has concluded with a finding of "substantial evidence" in support of the allegations. (Investigation Report) (supporting affidavits from officers Stanley, Brenner, and Stuart)
We first reported on the allegations of sexual harassment in January of 2020 in this article. Based on the fact we had to sue the city to get public records, as covered in this article, we knew they were in cover-up mode which appears to be the trend with Douglas and certain members of the police department.
An example of such a cover-up behavior can be found in an Illinois State Police investigation regarding missing seized money, which we covered in this article. Douglas is attributed with instructing the department to not cooperate with the investigation.
"Police Chief Jeremy Douglas had told (in 2016, during the investigation) the police officers not to cooperate with the Illinois State Police. He told them if no one cooperated, the case would go dead, and "this will all go away."
Such behavior by a police chief would, in most cases, lead to immediate termination, but that was not the case with the Watseka mayor and city council who appear to have no problem with such behavior.
Douglas has refused to respond to any of our questions to include questions about questionable flood grant money he received during the flooding in 2010. Questionable because of the location of his residence in relation to the actual flood area. These are the questions we asked.
1. You received thousands of dollars in benefits from Iroquois County in 2010 due to the flooding. Is it true your home was not in the flood plain?
- $750.00 Food
- $1200.00 Clothing
- $256.52 – Electric bill assistance
- $28.45 Gas bill assistance
- $1557.00 Mortgage payments – 3 months
- $75.00 Casey’s gas card
- $233.94 Servpro – half of bid
2. Is it true you now have multiple workplace harassment allegations against you?
3. Do you believe it is appropriate to place your hands on officers of the opposite sex for any reason? Do you deny doing that? If you do deny doing that, would an affidavit stating the contrary be a lie?
4. Do you consider the use of the words “c__t” and “p__sy” appropriate language during work hours and in the presence of other officers?
5. Is anyone else's sexual activity any of your business and if you think it is, please explain.
While Douglas can get away with ignoring questions from the media, it appears he will not have the same luxury as the sexual harassment case moves forward in the courts.
Based on the information gathered to date, it appears the taxpayers are going to be on the hook in a big way if the city loses the case, which is what we will predict based off the facts disclosed in the report, which include affidavits from other officers who witnessed Douglas's alleged behavior.
Past reporting on Chief Douglas can be found at this link.
A copy of the final report can be downloaded at this link or viewed below.