Toledo Mayor discusses sexual harassment charges against officers

Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 8:27 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - We’re now hearing from Toledo’s mayor about the two police sergeants disciplined this week for sexually harassing female co-workers, sending inappropriate messages.

Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz says he fully supports Police Chief George Kral and city staff for handling what he calls “an awful situation.”

He says the discipline was a bit of a balancing act.

It’s a balancing act because the discipline in a union organization like the Toledo Police Department is very different than in a typical private business. Arbitrator and legal action come into play much more and could have in this case.

Sexual harassment by Toledo Police Sergeant Kevin Nebors and now former Sergeant Matt Gabel toward female officers is behavior Toledo’s mayor says can’t happen.

“Whenever you have people in positions of authority who act the way these sergeants did that doesn’t make me happy,” said Kapszukiewicz.

Mayor Kapszukiewicz said the city won’t tolerate it and was informed of the discipline.

Nabors got a 20-day suspension, all of it held in abeyance, meaning no days will be served now unless he makes another mistake in the next three years.

Gabel got 60-days suspension, 20 to be served, 40 held in abeyance and was demoted to patrolman. His violations warranted this from the mayor.

“Am I someone who wishes that this officer no longer worked in the police department? Yeah probably. I think I do probably fall in that camp but I support the chief of police and the safety director whole heartedly,” said Kapszukiewicz.

Chief Kral told 13abc Monday these punishments were agreed upon because he worried anything stronger, up to an including termination, could have been overturned by an arbitrator due to collectively bargained union deals. That made discipline tricky.

“I know they put a lot of time into it. Their number one focus was to arrive at a discipline that would standup,” said Kapszukiewicz.

Mayor Kapszukiewicz says now is a time to rebuild trust and relationships in the department. He added that he knows all involved wanted to make sure they came up with this discipline that would stick. This discipline cannot be overturned.

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