Sexual Harassment Case Against Jail Officer Recommended For Dismissal

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Sexual harassment claims against a former Wakulla County Sheriff's Office employee were not proven by clear and convincing evidence.

An administrative law judge issued that finding in the case against Scott Barwick.

Five women who work for the sheriff's office in the jail claimed Barwick repeatedly sexually harassed them over a period of several years.

Two of the women claim Barwick also touched them in an inappropriate way.

Barwick was fired from the Wakulla County Sheriff's Office as a result of those complaints.

But after testimony in February, the judge has recommended dismissing the case against Barwick's law enforcement license.

Parties on both sides have 15 days to request changes to that recommendation.

Then the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission will make a final decision on the matter.

A sexual harassment case against a former Wakulla County Sheriff's lieutenant has sparked an internal investigation against another officer.

The new investigation involves a lieutenant spiking a colleague's drink with laxatives.

It all surfaced at an administrative hearing for Scott Barwick.

He faced the possibility of losing his law enforcement credentials from that hearing.

In 2012, Barwick was fired from the Wakulla County Sheriff's Office in the wake of sexual harassment charges against him by five female

One of those co-workers, Lieutenant Julie Martin, claims between 2006 and 2011, Barwick repeatedly sexually harassed her.

"He stuck his hands, his fingers down my pants," Martin testified at the hearing.

But Barwick says none of its true.

He points out he was offered a 30 day suspension and turned it down to fight the charges against him.

"Every one of them had their agenda against me, none of them liked me," Barwick said. "I pretty much held them accountable made them do their jobs," he said.

When Barwick appealed his firing from the sheriff's office, Martin was asked under oath in December, 2012 ,"Did you ever put laxatives in Mr. Barwick's beverage?" Her answer, "Yes I did." Question, "Why?" Her answer, "Because I was mad at him".

Martin said she only did it once in 2005, long before she claimed Barwick sexually harassed her.

But Barwick says Martin told others, including his wife, she would spike his drink with laxatives whenever she was mad at him.

He believes Martin repeatedly did it over a two year span from the beginning of 2007 until the end of 2008.

Barwick says he was so ill at one point, his doctor advised him he might need surgery.

"And when she got taken off my shift, my medical condition just took care of itself and got better," said Barwick.

During Barwick's administrative hearing, his attorney Stephen Webster questioned Martin about the incident.

Webster: "You were aware that he had a series of gastrointestinal conditions is that correct?"

Martin: "No I was not."

Webster: "So you did know that when you put in the laxatives,"

Martin: "No I did not know that."

Barwick took a complaint against Martin to the State Attorney's office in Crawfordville.

Assistant State Attorney Jon Fuchs said the case was unsubtantiated and too old or beyond the statute of limitations to prosecute.

Webster disagrees.

He says due to Barwick's illness, Martin should be charged under Florida's anti-food tampering act with a first degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

Webster also says because Martin admits to spiking Barwick's drink while she was working in her official capacity with the sheriff's office, Florida law states the statute of limitations doesn't apply until she leaves her job with WCSO.

Barwick also says he took his case to his supervisor at the Wakulla County Sheriff's Office once he learned of the drink spiking.

That supervisor was Julie Martin's husband who has since retired from the WCSO.

Barwick said he was told to prove it and there was no internal investigation.

Current Sheriff Charlie Creel wasn't in office when Barwick was fired or when Martin admitted to spiking Barwick's drink.

After Eyewitness News told Sheriff Creel about the drink spiking, he said he's conducting an internal investigation into the incident.

He also told us he may refer the matter to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for criminal prosecution.

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