A veteran Forsyth County Sheriff’s deputy has been suspended without pay following an investigation that revealed inappropriate sexual activity with a woman on probation.
According to a Dec. 27 letter obtained by the Forsyth County News through an open records request, Sheriff’s Lt. Todd Maloney violated policies regarding unbecoming conduct on/off duty, neglect of duty and professional image.
According to the document, Maloney was disciplined following a nine-month relationship last year with a woman "who you knew to be on probation, while on duty and in public places."
"You also admitted to have participated in sexual encounters with this female, while on duty and in uniform," the letter states.
The violations reportedly occurred between April 1 and Dec. 1, 2011.
In addition, the document notes that Maloney allowed the woman to view information on his mobile data terminal and allowed her inside his patrol vehicle.
It goes on to say that when a complaint regarding the relationship was made, the deputy "attempted to intervene and became involved in the complaint process, which you were aware was a violation of policy. You also failed to be forthcoming with your precinct commander when you notified him of the complaint."
As a result of the violations, Maloney has been suspended for 120 hours and transferred from his supervisory position at the Sheriff’s South Precinct to the Forsyth County Detention Center.
The three-week suspension took effect Jan. 4 and covers 10, 12-hour shifts, according to the letter.
Sheriff’s Capt. Tim House said Maloney, who has been with the agency since October 1998, will retain the rank of lieutenant.
According the woman’s complaint, dated Nov. 4, she and Maloney had sex in his patrol car while he was on duty.
She alleged that Maloney came to her work several times and had sex with her while he was on the clock. A summary she wrote indicates the affair had stopped at the time she made the complaint.
Later that same day, the woman attempted to rescind the allegations against the lieutenant.
Sheriff Ted Paxton said he stands behind the disciplinary action.
"We’re not the morality police," Paxton said. "Lt. Maloney’s relationship with this young lady, it is not within our right to in anyway pass judgment on or choose to discipline him for anything about a personal relationship.
"However, in the event that anything arises during his employment that would be a violation of a policy or rule, then yes, certainly that is our business."
Paxton explained that the agency follows a progressive discipline policy.
According to a schedule of penalties, he said written counseling is the discipline for the first offense on two of the violations for which Maloney was suspended.
The third, neglect of duty, results in an eight-hour suspension for the first offense.
Paxton said because Maloney is a lieutenant and held to a higher standard, the agency took harsher disciplinary action against him than the schedule recommended.
He also noted that the situation appears to be that of a scorned woman.
Paxton said the investigation revealed that Maloney realized in September that he had made a "grave error" and told the woman he no longer wanted to have contact with her and blocked her number from his cell phone.
He said the woman’s mother told investigators that her daughter became agitated in September because her "cop buddy did not want to be involved with her anymore."