OCALA, Fla. — A north Florida police chief is requesting to be placed on paid administrative leave during an investigation of allegations brought last week by three officers that include accusations of sexual harassment and hostile treatment.

The Ocala Star-Banner (http://bit.ly/2cZj3VY ) is reporting that an attorney for Ocala Police Chief Greg Graham sent a letter to Mayor Kent Guinn on Wednesday requesting the leave. The letter says Graham denies the allegations.

Now the city council will vote for a second time Friday whether to accept Graham’s leave offer or move forward with suspending the chief until the investigation is complete. By a 4-1 vote, the council members voted Tuesday to move forward with suspending Graham, the Star-Banner story said.

Attorney Bobi Frank filed a grievance against Graham last week in which Ocala police officers Rachel Mangum, Casey Walsh and T.J. Watts allege sexual harassment, hostile treatment and retaliation and discrimination by the chief.

Guinn, who oversees the police department, expressed his support for Graham on Monday, saying he wouldn’t suspend him or place him on leave. Deputy Chief Rodney Smith will step in while Graham is either on leave or suspended by city council.

Robert Larkin, an attorney for Tallahassee-based firm Allen Norton & Blue, is investigating the allegations against Graham. He has until October 20 to complete the investigation.


Information from: Ocala (Fla.) Star-Banner, http://www.starbanner.com/