3 SCMPD officers put on administrative leave


Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Dept. Interim Chief Julie Tolbert has placed officers Capt. Cedric Phillips, Sgt. Malik Khaalis and Star Cpl. Willet Williams on paid administrative leave.

Tolbert said in a statement: "Due to the serious nature of the allegations it is protocol to place these officers on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigations.  This is in the best interest of these officers, the department and our community."

Thursday's staff announcement comes after two high-profile controversies - sexual harassment allegations and a Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team report alleging drug activity involving officers.

Police Chief Lovett abruptly retired late Friday after the sexual harassment allegation first became public.

Det. Trina Mayes claims a conspiracy among metro police. Her husband Sgt. Laprentice Mayes filed a complaint with the city's human resources department saying his wife had an affair with the chief.

Laprentice Mayes claimed the chief refused to promote his wife to sergeant after she cut off the affair, and that Capt. Cedric Philips - arranged the whole thing.

The complaint alleges that captain called Trina Mayes to say the chief liked her outfit and asked if he could give the chief her number. Then, according to the complaint, after the affair was over, called on behalf of the chief to say loved her and missed her. 

CNT Probe

CNT's report involves a confidential drug informant, who claims he bought large amounts of cocaine from Williams' brother. 

That confidential informant also claims the drug deals came with a personal police escort, according to the report. 

Narcotics agents believe that escort was provided by Williams, although a police internal affairs investigation called these allegations, "not sustained," according to the CNT's report. 

After the informant's tip, narcotics agents started investigating the Williams brothers and filed a 52-page report. The report says Khaalis was eager to be part of that investigation.

Several months later, narcotics agents started to suspect Khaalis was a mole - tipping off the Williams brothers that they were being watched, according to the report. 

In their report, CNT agents say they obtained phone records that show Khaalis called Williams eight times while Khaalis was on a stakeout of Williams' brother. 

The investigation by the SCMPD's Internal Affairs unit disputes those call records, finding, "the investigation conducted into the allegations made by the CNT and the FBI failed to prove any SCMPD violations". 

Khaalis was promoted to sergeant shortly after the metro investigation wrapped up. No charges were brought against either Williams or Khaalis. 

According to the narcotics team report, Khaalis failed an FBI polygraph test when asked whether he'd violated his oath of office and whether he'd tipped off the Williams brothers about the investigation. 

The confidential informant passed his polygraph. 

Copyright 2013 WTOC. All rights reserved.

By Staff Writer 10/03/2013 18:43:00

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