Marco police investigating another officer for misconduct while on duty
The internal affairs investigations into allegations of sex on duty by Marco Island police officers has led to more information coming out about potential misconduct.
A person who requested anonymity, contacted the Marco Eagle after the first internal affairs investigation was reported and provided several instant messages that suggest a current supervisor flirted, sexted and arranged his own tryst while on the job three years ago.
The instant messages provided, which appear to be taken from the woman's phone, suggest current school resource officer Sgt. Mark Haueter used a mobile application, Kik, while on duty over several days to flirt with a woman before their conversations became sexually charged ahead of a physical meetup in 2015.
Haueter's face appears by one side of the conversation and details of his shift activities which are included in the messages would appear to identify him as a participant. In one conversation in particular on March 30, 2015, Haueter referenced a sudden death he was called to, which was verified through both police reports and Police Chief Al Schettino’s monthly report to the City Council. The timestamps on the majority of the messages also lineup with his shifts according to a time card obtained through a public records request.
The Marco Eagle provided a few of the uncensored messages in an email to the police department last week in order to get answers concerning this latest allegation.
"Command staff is reviewing the allegations and will make a decision accordingly," Capt. Dave Baer said last week.
Baer said the department could not answer further questions until the allegations had been reviewed.
Haueter did not respond to a request for comment on this matter.
On Marco 30, 2015, Officer Frank Steiger was called to Nassau Road just after 11 a.m. after a caller notified 911 dispatch that a woman was “unresponsive and not breathing.” Hauter arrived minutes after Steiger and both attempted to revive the woman before emergency medical services arrived.
The police report, which was obtained through a public records request last week, indicated no foul play or signs of trouble.
Fourty-three minutes after EMS personnel pronounced the woman dead, the provided text messages indicate that Haueter sent a message to the woman (at 12:03 p.m.) to say he had been tied up with the death. After the woman expressed commiserations, the provided messages indicate Haueter responded “Ehhh. Worse for her,” followed by a winking emoji.
The messages continued over the next day escalating from exchanging sexually explicit comments to the expression of mutual desires to see one another. The exchanges took place during Haueter’s shift, which ran from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. according to records, with the officer and and the woman agreeing to meetup the following day, messages indicate.
Payroll records show Haueter began his career with the police department on April 9, 2012.
Haueter has never been the subject of an Marco Island internal affairs investigation, Baer said last week, prior to receiving the messages.
On face value, the content of the messages while on duty would suggest violations of police policies based upon the evidence the department used to sustain violations against other officers and supervisors for similar conduct this year.
Two police sergeants, James Inlow and Neil Giansanti, resigned earlier this year as internal affairs investigations were launched as a result of allegations that they separately had engaged in sex on duty with the same woman.
Inlow, who was the subject of another internal affairs investigation last year for allegedly making threats against the woman, was also accused of sexting the woman while on duty and soliciting Adderall after the woman’s father provided evidence from her phone to Schettino in January.
Investigators found the allegations against Inlow and Giansanti credible and ruled both officers’ actions constituted policy violations related to integrity, noncompliance with directives and conduct unbecoming.
Officer Kevin Hennings was fired last month after the department also found allegations credible that he had sex with the same woman as Inlow and Giansanti while on duty. Hennings and his attorneys have denied the allegations, citing a lack of evidence, and have begun the process to appealing his termination.
A fourth police officer, Det. Brian Granneman, was issued a written reprimand for knowing about Inlow’s on-duty actions and not reporting them to other supervisors. In an interview with investigators, the woman alleged that she slept with Granneman twice while off-duty and that he provided her with alcohol when she was a minor.
The woman involved in those cases has filed a notice of claim against the city for causing harm as result of its negligence in hiring, supervising and retaining its police officers. The notice of claim is the first step in the process of suing a Florida governmental body.
In the case of Inlow, who was proven to have sent sexually explicit messages on duty, sexting was cited as one of reasons to sustain each of the violations of integrity, noncompliance with directives and conduct unbecoming.
It’s also unknown whether Haueter was using his personal or department-issued phone during the message exchanges.
If Haueter used his personal phone, the messages could constitute a violation of the department’s policy on personally owned telecommunications devices.
Hennings was found to have violated this policy for using his personal cellphone on duty to plan a meetup with the woman he was accused of engaging in sex with.
“Members shall not let the use of personally owned telecommunications devices interfere with their duties,” the policy states. “Members who misuse the privilege of utilizing personally owned devices on-duty will have the privilege removed and may receive disciplinary action as specified in the misuse section of this general order.”