Former Pickerington sergeant talks about current chief's alleged misconduct

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - When Pickerington City Manager Frank Wiseman sat down with 10TV confirming an investigation into police chief Michael Taylor about allegations of sexist, homophobic and racial comments, Wiseman said in Taylor's 35 plus years he has had a solid reputation and his integrity has never been questioned.

According to documents from a civil case out of Fairfield County in the early 1990s, two women, who were a Pickerington dispatcher and a police officer, accused seven defendants of sexual harassment.

Those defendants included the city of Pickerington, it's police department, Mayor Lee Gray, the city manager and three high-ranking police officers including then Sergeant Michael Taylor.

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The other officers were then police chief Donald Pruden and then lieutenant John Fuller.

The documents said between 1990 and 1994, Taylor would inappropriately, and in a sexually offensive manner, touch the women and make suggestive sexual comments.

"I testified against Taylor because I witnessed actions," Darrel Robson said.

In court, Robson, who was a sergeant himself back then with Pickerington PD, testified to what he says he saw Taylor do.

"I seen (sic) him grabbing the one female road officer's leg," he said. "I seen (sic) him walk up behind her, put his arms around her and kiss her on the forehead where she tried to fight him off."

Documents say the women told Taylor's supervisors about what happened, but nothing was done to correct the situation.

The female dispatcher, according to the case, was "illegally terminated" by the defendants in January of 1994. The female police officer was "constructively discharged" by the defendants in June of 1993, according to the report.

Robson says there were other write-ups of Taylor's inappropriate behavior, but when the case in the 90s came up, Robson says he was told by then Lt. John Fuller to get rid of the paperwork.

"I was told to destroy the documents and I took the documents to my attorney," Robson said.

Robson’s Attorney was not available to confirm or deny these allegations.

Fuller passed away in 2002.

As for the new allegations against Taylor, Robson says he is not surprised.

"I can't believe it hasn't happened before now," he said.

10TV reporter Bryant Somerville talked to one of the women named in that civil case. She did not want to go on camera but said the case was settled by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

When told about the case in the 90s, Wiseman said he was unaware of that and would look into it Monday.

Robson retired from the Pickerington Police Department in Dec. 1999. He had served there since 1983.