UPDATE: East Dubuque officer accused of sexual misconduct resign - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: East Dubuque officer accused of sexual misconduct resigns


UPDATE: According to a report from KWWL's coverage partners at the Telegraph Herald, East Dubuque Assistant Police Chief Gerald Fluhr has tendered his resignation from the city's police force on Friday.

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UPDATE (Friday, 7/13): KWWL continues to dig deeper after receiving more documents from the Illinois State Attorney regarding a recent investigation, after an East Dubuque Assistant Police Chief and City Manager are accused of harassment.

East Dubuque Police Officer Gerald Fluhr was accused by at least seven women of sexual misconduct, inappropriate behavior, and unwanted sexual advances.  East Dubuque City Manager Geoff Barklow, was also accused of harassment by one woman. 

These additional documents, that were not available during our previous report, detail an hour long interview of Officer Fluhr by the Illinois State Police. The documents also included an interview of a bar manager where several of the alleged incidents took place. 

"Just kidding" and "harassing and teasing in nature," That's how Officer Gerald Fluhr described many of his -- according to the women who received them -- unwanted, explicit and sexual text and facebook messages. 

In fact, Fluhr was questioned about a series of explicit messages he had sent to one of the women. In these messages Fluhr falsely alleged that a man bragged about rapping her and that she probably had a sexually transmitted disease because of it. According to the documents, Fluhr said he was surprised she reported him because "he normally spoke to her in that manner" and that he sent the messages only to "torment her". 

The documents also detailed an interview by Illinois State Police of a Nancy's Slot's gambling business manager who said Fluhr often came in during off-duty hours. During that interview she described Fluhr to investigators as a "pig", who often made inappropriate sexual comments to other employees and customers. At one point in the documents, Fluhr was even described as entering the bar one night, too drunk to stand. 

KWWL spoke with that manager who said she reported Fluhr's behavior "numerous times" to the East Dubuque Police Department but that nothing ever came of it. In fact, no one from the Department ever even asked for surveillance footage of the alleged incidents. 

By the time Illinois State Police stepped in to investigate, the video had already been deleted. Now that manager tells me, they recently filled paperwork with the Illinois State Police to ban Fluhr from the bar. 

KWWL did reach out to Illinois State Attorney John Hay, who's in charge of the case, about whether East Dubuque Police Chief O'Connell was ever questioned in relation to the allegations. In a response we were told he was not. 

There is an East Dubuque City Council meeting scheduled for Monday, July 16th. We are told there will be a community rally outside of city hall at 5 p.m. before the council meeting.

This report follows an in-depth report on the subject from our coverage partners at the Telegraph Herald.

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Original Story (Thursday, 7/12):

There will be no criminal charges brought to two East Dubuque city employees after investigations into the men were concluded, according to documents KWWL obtained from the Illinois State Attorney's Office under the Freedom of Information Act. 

One of the city employees who was investigated is Gerald Fluhr, who was at the time, the East Dubuque Assistant Police Chief. He was accused of sexual misconduct, inappropriate behavior, and "inappropriately obtaining information utilizing Law Enforcement Data Systems." According to the investigation documents, there are no charges brought to Fluhr due to "insufficient evidence." 

Fluhr had been accused by at least seven woman of either sending unwanted or inappropriate messages via text message and private Facebook messages. 

East Dubuque City Manager, Geoffrey Barklow was the other city employee who was investigated after a woman reported being harassed by him. According to documents, he is accused of harassing a woman with unwanted attention and sexual advances. 

KWWL reached out to City Manager Geoffrey Barklow about the status of Gerald Fluhr's employment in which he declined to comment "on personnel matters." At this time it is unclear if Fluhr is still Assistant Police Chief, but he was placed on administrative leave during the investigation, according to the documents. According to Jo Daviess County Sheriff Kevin Turner, Fluhr has not been sheriff's deputy with the department since March 2018. 

According to the investigation documents KWWL obtained, both East Dubuque's Police Chief Brian O'Connell and Jo Daviee County Sheriff Kevin Turner reached out to Illinois state police to conduct the investigation into Fluhr, as he was employed by both agencies at the time. 

Stay with KWWL as we dig deeper into these documents and continue to update you with the latest. 

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