LAKELAND — It’s been said that law enforcement works hard to expose the criminal element in their midst — those who commit fraud, who cheat and steal, who victimize others.
Now, a former lieutenant with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office has found himself on the other side of the law — under arrest and being booked into the Polk County Jail. It appears that, too, decided there were things he needed to expose.
Polk County Sheriff’s Office detectives just arrested Dexter Jerome Hill, 44, of Lakeland on May 22, and charged him with indecent exposure in public, a misdemeanor, and tampering in a misdemeanor proceeding, which is a felony.
Hill was booked on Friday into the Polk County Jail, and was later released after posting a $1,500 bond. Ironically, Hill had been a lieutenant in the sheriff’s office’s Department of Detention, and he worked as a supervisor at the South County Jail.
He is now out of a job, having resigned from that position.
“Had he not resigned,” noted Donna C. Wood, public information officer for the sheriff’s office, “he would have faced termination procedures.” Hill first started working as a detention deputy in April 1996.
What got him into so much trouble? According to Wood, a female coworker said Hill revealed a lot more about himself than she had ever wanted to know.
“Hill exposed himself while at work in front of a female employee who also worked at the South County Jail,” Wood noted in her report.
When the sheriff’s office launched an investigation of the woman’s complaint, Wood said, Hill made an effort to squash it.
“Hill contacted the female witness during the investigation in an attempt to influence the witness to not incriminate him,” Wood noted.
According to the investigating detective’s report, the female employee reported that Hill, who had been her supervisor for the past year, had “made comments to her a few months ago that she had really nice lips and it looks like she could give really good head,’ ” the report stated.
Then on Feb. 16, the woman told detectives, Hill called her and asked that she come to see him in the administrative office. When she did, “Hill was standing in the office alone with his pants unzipped and penis out of his pants,” the arrest report noted.
The woman reported that she told Hill that she “did not do things like that and she would forget anything happened,” the detective wrote in the arrest report The woman said Hill responded by saying “I feel like you owe me” since he had helped get her into the academy, the report notes.
The woman told detectives she had been afraid of Hill and felt intimated by him.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said he was appalled at the allegations against one of his own employees.
“I am outraged by this criminal conduct,” he said. “We hold our agency members to the highest professional standards — and to even higher standards for supervisors.”
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