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Superiors harassed her, officer says

A female Tampa police officer Wednesday publicized charges of sexual harassment and discrimination against three of her superiors.

Officer Marilyn Lee, 30, has filed a federal sexual harassment complaint against Acting Police Chief Curtis Lane and Sgt. Chester Copeland.

She has also accused Maj. Bennie Holder of sexual discrimination in the complaint.

Lee's attorney, Joe Episcopo, said Wednesday that he feared Lee's job was in jeopardy, prompting him to release an affidavit and polygraph test results submitted to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency responsible for investigating such complaints.

Both Lane and Copeland asked her out for dates several times, according to the affidavit.

"In late July or early August 1991, Curtis Lane asked me to take time off from work to accompany him on a business trip to Washington. He has also asked me to accompany him to Sarasota," Lee said in the affidavit. "I have refused his invitations."

Lee said Copeland told her he wanted them to be "very good friends."

A polygraph Lee took Feb. 10 indicates she is telling the truth, said Dudley H. Dickson, who administered the test.

Neither Lane nor Copeland could be reached for comment.

Episcopo said the Tampa police officials are "trying to try the case in the press." He did not elaborate.

Police spokesman Steve Cole denied Episcopo's allegation. "We have not held a press conference, we have not commented on the investigation, nor will we."

Lee's sexual discrimination complaint against Holder states that he transferred her to another district after she divorced her husband, a corporal with the department.

"I objected to the transfer.. . . Whenever married couples on the force are divorced, it is always the female who gets transferred," Lee said.

Lee also disputes a written warning she received for failing to handle properly some fake cocaine she found in a car Nov. 15.