MOUNT DORA, Fla. - A Mount Dora police sergeant who resigned last month did so amid an investigation into allegations that he took photos of female workers' chests, according to documents released Wednesday.
The investigation into Sgt. Keith Taylor began in April when an administrative assistant said Taylor took three photos of her chest when he was supposed to be taking her headshot for a community engagement project.
The employee met with Taylor to take her picture, and before he began, he adjusted the camera down, took a few pictures, and then adjusted it back up and took some more, the report said.
Taylor showed the woman the pictures and she was immediately embarrassed to see that the first three were photos of her chest that did not include her face.
"Don't pay any attention to those. They were just a joke," Taylor told her, according to the report.
He then deleted the photos, officials said.
The employee said she was initially afraid to report the allegation because she was new to the department and didn't want to cause any trouble. She told two female coworkers that same day and they encouraged her to come forward.
The camera, memory cards and other evidence were immediately seized so that an investigation could begin.
When Taylor was interviewed, he said he took two photos of the woman's chest but said it was not intentional. He said he was not even aiming or focusing the camera when he took the pictures.
"The camera was down by my abdomen and pointed in her general direction. Uh, the photos that I remember of her torso, not her bust, her torso, were not at a right angle. They were out of zoom. They were out of focus. You could clearly see that they were not photos that were intentional or intended to be of any value whatsoever," Taylor told investigators.
Department information technology professionals found that 44 photos had been deleted, including the photos at the center of the investigation, and a memory card was missing. They did, however, recover an in-focus photo showing a different female employee's chest that was similar to the photo the complainant described.
The complainant also described another incident involving Taylor in which he told her, "I'm bending over. Don't get turned on," records show. The employee didn't report the comment when it happened in March.
At the conclusion of the investigation, officials determined that Taylor's explanation for the incident was inadequate and he should be terminated from his position. Taylor resigned in June before that could happen.
Taylor's report was released a day after city leaders announced that former Mount Dora Police Chief John O'Grady would be relieved of duties. An investigation found that he made inappropriate comments, enacted a traffic ticket mandate and tried to keep a lost puppy after its owners stepped forward.
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