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A state worker who teaches state troopers how to recognize sexual harassment - and how to avoid it - has alleged that one of the No. 2 officers in the Tennessee Highway Patrol made lewd comments and advances toward her that upset her so much she vomited, but the investigation resulted in no punishment toward the officer.
The allegation is against Lt. Col. Danny Wilson. He denies the allegations, and the investigation handled by the state's human resources department said they could not be corroborated.
The woman, a civilian employee for the state Safety Department, for years has taught troopers about sexual harassment and how to avoid it. She told investigators that Wilson in April put her in a headlock in the cafeteria of the THP training center on Stewarts Ferry Pike and made sexual comments toward her.
"I can still give it to you," Wilson is alleged to have said according to a memo in the file. "I can still fill you up."
It's the latest allegation against a department that has had past problems involving women. A trooper was forced from the agency last year after he shot a video of a porn actress giving him oral sex during a traffic stop. It also was revealed last year that a trooper had been accused of making inappropriate advances toward female truck drivers at a THP weigh station.
The latest allegations were not reported by the alleged victim, but instead were reported by THP Capt. Thomas Smith. The captain retired in June, but on the complaint form he said he reported it so the "truth of the incident" could be known.
The woman, whose name The Tennessean is withholding, told investigators it was the second such advance made by Wilson this year. The first incident was in February after she visited New Orleans during Mardi Gras with other staff.
Wilson asked her whether she'd brought back parade beads, and grabbed her by the neck and pulled her close to him, the report says. Wilson is alleged to have whispered to her, "I've got something for you alright. It's all stored up and ready for you," according to the report.
She said she was shocked and left the room, and went to her office.
The second incident allegedly occurred April 24 during a promotion ceremony at the training center. Wilson is alleged to have told her, "You're sporting some cleavage today." He then pulled her around the neck, and said "Remember what I've got for you." She said she walked away and later vomited because the incident made her sick, the report said.
Both Wilson and the woman declined through a department spokesman to be interviewed for this story.
Wilson, at the time, was one of three lieutenant colonels in the THP, which is commanded by a colonel. He served on Gov. Ned McWherter's security detail and is politically well connected. He has been promoted several times despite having shot out an estranged girlfriend's television and large oval mirror with his service handgun in 1993.
Wilson told investigators in June that he considered the woman a friend. The report said he did not recall the February incident.
Wilson told investigators he did not recall, according to the report, making "any statements out of the ordinary" to the instructor at the April 24 ceremony. He said he did not recall making inappropriate statements or touching her.
He said he told her she looked nice, according to the report, and he said he did not recall making a comment about her cleavage. Wilson said that if the woman "would have told me that I offended her, I would have apologized and stopped whatever it was."
The report said the allegations surrounding both incidents could not be corroborated. Both Safety Commissioner Dave Mitchell and Col. Mike Walker said the matter is closed as far as they are concerned, and Wilson faces no discipline. Walker said the department relied on the findings of the state personnel department's investigation. He said he believes both Wilson and the woman.
"I don't have any reason to disbelieve either one of them," Walker said. "I don't know that either one of them has a reason to lie, to be honest with you."
Brad Schrade
THE TENNESSEAN


Lt. Col. Danny Wilson denies the allegations.
 
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