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More Details On Investigations Of Suspended Officers

Posted: Updated:
Interim Chief Juliette Tolbert Interim Chief Juliette Tolbert
Sgt. Malik Khaalis Sgt. Malik Khaalis
Cpl. Willet Williams Cpl. Willet Williams
CHATHAM COUNTY, GA -

UPDATE:

We're digging deeper into internal affairs investigations of two officers that have now been suspended from the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department.  Both Malik Khaalis and Willet Williams had been part of other internal affairs investigations before the one that is believed to have led to the District Attorney's Office refusal to prosecute any cases in which they were involved.  Some of those include...

In January 2004, Khaalis received a written reprimand for unbecoming conduct.  A citizen accused him of threatening to kill her.  Khaalis denied that, but did admit to telling the woman he would "*F**k her up."

In July 2004, an investigation of police corruption began within the ranks of CNT.  The investigation centered around two officers who have since left the department... But Khaalis was named in the report as being present for some of the alleged incidents of theft and shakedowns of drug dealers.  The accusations against him were not sustained by the investigation.

As for Williams -- in 2008 he was accused of fraudulently taking payments from the Housing Authority totaling almost 5-thousand dollars for rent on a home he was on record as leasing to a woman with a Section 8 voucher.  He was also accused of conduct unbecoming for approaching the Director of the Housing Authority in a hostile manner after receiving notice demanding repayment of that money.  He repaid the money and investigation determined it was an oversight.  The complaint of conduct unbecoming was sustained -- he was suspended for two days without pay. 

The investigation that appears to have led to Thursday's suspension of the officers began in June 2010 - when CNT agents approached Metro with accusations that Agent Malik Khaalis was divulging information regarding their investigations and that Officer Willet Williams was involved.  The report states that CNT had identified a man named James Williams as a drug dealer and that his brother - "Star Corporal Willet Williams was participating in the illegal activities by providing police escorts for his brother when the illegal substances were being sold." 

 Agent Khaalis was "believed to have divulged investigative information concerning a surveillance operation...to star corporal Williams" who "then relayed the information to James Williams."

The agents also told Metro they noted "unusual behaviors and actions" by Khaalis...which included asking numerous questions about the Williams investigation, picking up suspect's cell phones despite orders not to touch them, and leaving the surveillance room and calling for a traffic stop on a suspect without prior consent or approval.

The report also states Khaalis voluntarily submitted to a polygraph exam administered by the FBI and that results indicated Khaalis was "deceptive."  However - the report goes on to state that neither the FBI or CNT provided internal affairs investigators with an investigative report or a criminal case file implicating Khaalis or any other S.C.M.P.D. officer...and since no documentation to support the allegations of misconduct had been provided - Chief Lovett ordered the investigation terminated.  The city attorney's office was asked to review the information and concluded there was no evidence of illegal activity by agent Khaalis.  The allegations against both officers were "not sustained."

Even so, on Thursday, nearly three years after the investigation was closed, Acting Chief Juliette Tolbert suspended both officers with pay pending the outcome of investigations.

 

UPDATE:

There's more fallout from a series of investigations into the Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department. 

Three officers, including a police captain, have been sent home.  Late today, News 3 received word that Acting Chief Juliette Tolbert has placed Captain Cedric Phillips, Sgt. Malik Khaalis, and Star Corporal Willet Williams on paid administrative leave. Interim Chief Juliette Tolbert released a statement which read in part - "this is in the best interest of these officers, the department and our community."

According to a  sexual harassment complaint filed last week, Captain Phillips has been accused of offering a promotion to Officer Trina Mayes in return for sex.  Those same complaints are, in part, what led to Chief Willie Lovett's retirement from the department.

Just three weeks ago, the Chatham County District Attorney's office announced they would "not" prosecute any cases in which Khaalis and Williams had "any substantial involvement."  Both Star Corporal Willet Williams and Sergeant Malik Khaalis have a number of suspensions and reprimands listed in their personnel files - accumulated during long careers with the department...but it is their alleged actions during a drug investigation conducted by CNT and the DEA from 2008 to 2010 that apparently led to the refusal to prosecute.  FBI and CNT agents complained to Metro back in June of 2010 that they believed Khaalis was passing information about that investigation to Star Corporal Williams whose brother was a subject of the investigation. A confidential source also alleged Williams provided security escorts in his patrol car for some who purchased drugs from his brother.

Metro Internal Affairs did look into the matter - but records show they told Chief Willie Lovett in November of 2010, that the other agencies had provided them little to no written documentation proving any illegal activity by the officers and the case was closed.

 

ORIGINAL STORY:

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

Chief Tolbert said, "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."

Capt. Phillips is alleged to have propositioned Officer Trina Mayes for sex in return for a promotion.

Mayes is the officer who allegedly had numerous affairs with former Chief Willie Lovett.

Those allegations may have led in-part to his abrupt retirement Friday.

Sgt. Khaalis and Cpl. Williams are the officers that the Chatham County District Attorney's Office and U.S. Attorney's Office has said they will not prosecute any cases involving these two men.

Stay with WSAV.com for updates.

 

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