Corrections officer resigns amid allegations
A Harrison County corrections officer resigned last month after allegations of sexual harassment were made by a co-worker.
Roscoe Meek said Monday that he resigned from the position he held for three years and that rumors that he was fired are untrue.
Meek, 49, declined to give specifics about why he resigned, saying only that it ‘was in the best interest of the sheriff’s department and Harrison County.’
He has retained attorney Bart Betteau but hopes to resolve the situation without bringing a lawsuit against the county.
‘I don’t want to sue the county,’ Meek said. ‘This is my home.’
Meek, who is an advanced EMT, works part time for Harrison County Emergency Medical Services at Harrison County Hospital and is a captain on the Ramsey Volunteer Fire Department, which he has belonged to for 15 years.
Initially following Meek’s resignation, he was made a special deputy by Harrison County Sheriff G. Michael Deatrick and he remained a member of the Special Operations Response Team (SORT). Meek said Monday he currently is no longer serving in either of those capacities.
The sheriff’s department has been under scrutiny by other elected officials and many in the community following the settlement of a civil lawsuit brought by two female employees who accused Deatrick of sexual harassment.
Dispatcher Deana Decker and former dispatcher Missie Graham filed sexual discrimination complaints in May 2008 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which found the claims credible and ordered the parties to begin settlement talks.
A settlement was reached in June which, in part, required the sheriff and his deputies and corrections officers, including both full- and part-time employees, to attend training to ensure the sheriff’s department avoids sexual harassment. The first of those training sessions, conducted by Carol A. Dawson of EEO Guidance Inc., was held in mid-September. Additional sessions are scheduled to take place in September 2010 and May 2011.
Although the civil lawsuit was settled, a separate criminal investigation is underway.
A special prosecutor, Nancy Jacobs of Switzerland County, called a special grand jury to review the case of allegations of sexual harassment made by Decker and Graham.
Closed-door hearings with a special grand jury will begin Monday and are expected to continue through Wednesday, Nov. 25, then reconvene Dec. 2 and 4.