SPECIAL REPORT: Investigating Savannah-Chatham Police Allegation - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

SPECIAL REPORT: Investigating Savannah-Chatham Police Allegations

Posted: Updated:
Trina Mayes alleged she had an affair with former Savannah Police Chief Willie Lovett Trina Mayes alleged she had an affair with former Savannah Police Chief Willie Lovett
Laprentice Mayes is alleging a hostile work environment at SCMPD Laprentice Mayes is alleging a hostile work environment at SCMPD
"Rocky" Sellers is a convicted felon who said he had a long relationship with Officer Trina Mayes "Rocky" Sellers is a convicted felon who said he had a long relationship with Officer Trina Mayes
SAVANNAH, GA -

Its been a month since the shakeup at the Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department.

Chief Willie Lovett has retired, Interim Chief Julie Tolbert is making changes, and an outside agency is investigating the conduct of at least three officers.

Its a chain reaction of events which started with a sexual harassment complaint and notice of intent to sue by detective Trina Mayes.

News 3 started investigating mayes weeks ago.

We combed through hundreds of pages of documents about Detective Trina Mayes, the woman who claimed to have an affair with former Police Chief Willie Lovett.

Inside those pages are several different allegations of wrongdoing, suspensions, and connections to one man, named Rocky.

Rocky talked to us, he says, to fill in the blanks, and get the whole story out.

"Today County Manager Russ Abolt and myself accepted the resignation of Police Chief Willie Lovett after 40 years of service."

Those were the words of Savannah City Manager Stephanie Cutter in September of 2013.
 
40 years of service, gone within a week of the city getting a letter threatening a sexual harassment lawsuit against then Chief Willie Lovett.

While Detective Trina Mayes just made a threat to sue the department, her husband, Officer Laprentice Mayes took a further step, offering up details of his wife's alleged harassment.

In his statement, Laprentice Mayes says Trina admitted to having an affair "numerous times" with Chief Lovett.

But what about the woman who made the original allegations, Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Detective Trina Mayes.

News 3 decided to dig deeper into her past.

Mayes is a 7 year member of the department.

As we quickly found out, hunting down fugitives wasn't mayes only connection to convicted criminals like Rocky Sellers.

"You knew she was a police officer and she knew you were a felon? I asked Rocky.
"Yeah."
"That didn't matter to her? "No."
"Did you ever talk about it?"
"No"
 
For background, Rocky Sellers is a convicted felon, with an extensive criminal record dating back more than a decade.

"3 years one time," said Rocky. "Then I've done 2 years, then I've done 18 months in the county jail."

Sellers claims he had a long relationship with Trina Mayes, which started during her first police job.

Trina Mayes, then Trina McGee, started with Garden City Police in May of 2005.

She resigned in February of 2006 for what she called "personal issues".

Mayes resignation letter was three pages long and detailed everything from marital issues, problems with supervisors, and even threats of further investigation.

But days before she resigned, Garden City Police Captain Gil Ballard wrote this letter to his Chief.

It detailed several violations of the code of conduct, and a closing line, "It is my professional recommendation that if she has not resigned, that she be terminated."

Despite that statement being in her personnel file, Trina McGee was hired by Savannah-Chatham Metro Police in April of 2006.

"She was working for Garden City, they got into complications," said Rocky. "They she switched over to SPD. We was living together for some time."
 
 SELLERS CLAIMS TRINA NOT ONLY KNEW ABOUT HIS RECORD, BUT HELPED HIM GET OUT OF JAIL.
 
"Then I finished probation in Carolina, but I had to bail out. So Trina came and bonded me out."

By February of 2007, records show she was already facing questions.

These were connected to the arrest of several men standing on the corner of Florance street. Men who said they were targeted because they were friends with Rocky Sellers.

Mayes was cleared of any wrongdoing in that case, but was questioned extensively about her relationship with "Rocky".

She started by telling investigators she hadn't dated him, never went to jail to bail him out and never lived together.

But she later changed her story when she was shown pictures of she and Sellers together.

News 3 also found documents which shows Mayes, then McGee, visited sellers in jail in April of 2006 and even put money in his jail account.
 
"Did you ever talk to her and say, you are a police officer?" I asked Rocky.
"No, not really. I was just thankful for her help. You know when you are sinking any life raft you are going to reach out and grab it."
 
But Rocky does say her status as a police officer didn't stop Trina from taking part in at least one criminal act.
 
"The police pull us over and of her safety I didn't want Police to see her with me and get caught so we played some duck duck goose and got away," explained Rocky.
"You want to clarify that for us?" I asked.
"Outran the cops."

"What did she say after you ran?" I wondered.
"Well she just looked at me and smiled and said, boy we just outran the police," said Rocky. "And I said yep, you are the police."

Sellers says his relationship with Trina ended in 2007. But he, his family and friends were far from done with the Savannah officer, who verbally threatened Sellers then wife.  

"My wife came in the picture when Trina saw a couple marriage photos in the car," explained Rocky. "She told me too if she saw that "beast" she was going to "F" her up."   

In 2008 - those verbal threats apparently almost became physical.
  Mayes internal affairs file details an incident in front of a school parking lot between mayes and Lakeshia Cooper in 2008.

Cooper is Rocky Sellers wife.
 
In Cooper's statement to police, she says Mayes "jumped in my face" and said "im the police im the police" and pointing a finger in her face.

Cooper even claimed Mayes went so far as to slap her hand down, and flashed a badge threatening to arrest her.

After the investigation was finished, Mayes was suspended for one day for "inappropriate and unprofessional conduct".
 
She was also suspended in 2010 for engaging in "unprofessional conduct" with another female officer after that officer had "texted" her current husband Laprentice Mayes.
 
And Trina Mayes spent three days off the force in 2012 after she and Laprentice had a well publicized domestic dispute where police were called in.

Laprentice mayes had to scars to show for it after this incident.

That temper is something that Rocky Sellers remembers only too well.
 
"You don't want to make her mad," said Rocky. "When you make her mad she's going to hit you. She clocked me one time. Slapped me on the porch. Ever since then I know I had to watch what I say."
 
"These allegations are vile and baseless," Said William Claiborne, Trina Mayes' lawyer.

Trina Mayes lawyer, William Claiborne talked to me last week. I detailed the various allegations made by Rocky Sellers. Claiborne says what happened in Mayes' past is not in question now.

"These matters were looked into by internal affairs back in 2008," said Claiborne. "They found these allegations to be not sustained so we don't consider they have any merit to those allegations."

Claiborne continued, "They have absolutely nothing to do with the sexual harassment that Officer Mayes was subjected to., Its an attempt by individuals to distract away from the multiple complaints that have been made against the Department. They don;t have any basis. Its beneath this community for this to be brought up to try and distract away from the problems that were in place within the Department."

Rocky says he's afraid of retaliation or "crossing" Trina. that's why he didn't want to show his face.

Rocky claims he's done with crime, still on probation, but trying to turn his life around by telling the truth..
 
"Why would you want to come forward now?" I asked Rocky.
"To set the record straight. To take what's in the dark out into the light."

Trina Mayes is still on the force, still in her same position.

Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Chief Willie Lovett retired a week after the allegations went public.

Captain Cedric Phillips, who was also referenced in Mayes allegations, is on paid administrative leave.

No actions have been taken against Trina Mayes by the department for her admission of having an affair.

Mayes' sexual harassment case still has yet to be filed.

  But since Mayes submitted her complaint, four other current or former Savannah-Chatham Metro Police officers have come forward with allegations, including Trina's husband Laprentice Mayes.

Mayes' lawyer, William Claiborne tells me he expects more officers to come forward with more complaints.

Powered by WorldNow

1430 East Victory Drive
Savannah, GA 31404

Telephone: 912.651.0300
Fax: 912.651.0320
Email: newsemailalert@wsav.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.