Tankersley suspended after claim
by GREG KAYLOR, Banner Staff Writer
Jan 30, 2013 | 2517 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A Bradley County Battalion chief has been suspended without pay for two days after a Human Resources investigation confirmed allegations from a female co-worker regarding a sexual harassment claim.

The investigation of Don Tankersley revealed the allegation wasn’t sexual harassment as defined by county policy, but according to Bradley County Fire Rescue Chief Troy Spence noted, “I find these actions while on duty, unbecoming of an officer of this department.”

According to the investigation document submitted by Rena Samples, director of Human Resources for Bradley County, and county attorney Crystal Freiberg, the allegation of sexual harassment was received Jan. 7.

The alleged victim made a complaint after Tankersley reportedly used a county cellphone to send “one inappropriate photograph.”

Spence said today that according to the county attorney and Human Resources office only one complaint regarding the case had been received.

According to the report, the alleged victim stated the text messages were “unwelcome and that they made her feel uncomfortable. On the other hand, Mr. Tankersley said the exchange of photographs was consensual and she had done the same thing with others.”

The investigation revealed Tankersley’s statement was corroborated by “the testimony of another fire department employee.”

Tankersley told the county attorney and director he wasn’t on duty when the incident occurred and that he had used his personal phone.

According to the findings and phone records and time sheets, Tankersley was reportedly on duty Aug. 15, 2012, when the incident reportedly occurred.

Tankersley was issued a written reprimand and suspended for two 24-hour shifts.

“... As a result he admitted to inappropriate conduct in sending a text message of a sexual nature to a volunteer of the fire department,” according to the report.

Tankersley will also be required to undergo training regarding sexual harassment in the workplace.