MCFARLAND, CA - Where is the Chief of the McFarland Police Department? Lots of folks in McFarland want to know and those who do know aren't talking.
17 News confirmed Wednesday, Police Chief Greg Herrington still holds his title as chief, but he is not in the office and no one would tell us when he's coming back.
We spoke with the watch commander who said he and other watch commanders are in charge in the chief's absence. How long that absence might be he couldn't say.
Greg Herrington was appointed Chief of Police in McFarland in 2011, but Wednesday his staff told us he was not at work. Those same staff told us they did not know why he wasn't at work or when he would be back.
So we asked city officials, but no one would comment or even take the time to speak with us. City Manager John Wooner would not come out of his office. Mayor Manuel Cantu did not return our calls.
Meanwhile, the chief and the city are facing a lawsuit for sexual harassment filed last September. The complaint claims Chief Herrington touched a records clerk inappropriately over the course of a year and a half.
The clerk alleges in the complaint that Herrington would ask the clerk to "perform tasks that involved...[her] having her back to him...Herrington would then leer" at her...in an obvious manner." On one such occasion, the clerk claims Herrington took a picture of her buttocks and showed it to her saying "You know you're beautiful, Boo."
The clerk also alleges in the complaint Herrington told her "he wanted to have sex with her...and that no one has to know". In retaliation for rejecting his alleged sexual advances, the clerk claims she was fired. The case is set to go to trial next February.
We reached out to Herrington and the city's attorneys, but they did not return our calls.
The attorney representing the former employee says he does not believe Chief Herrington's absence is because of the lawsuit.