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Erie County Sheriff's Office terminates deputy accused of forcibly touching inmate

county holding center .png
Posted at 5:19 PM, May 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-20 17:19:38-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Erie County Sheriff's Office announced it has terminated a deputy that has been accused of forcibly touching an inmate at the Erie County Holding Center.

The Erie County District Attorney's Office announced in April that 41-year-old Robert M. Dee was arraigned and indicted in New York State Supreme Court on several misdemeanor charges, including forcible touching, official misconduct, criminal contempt and tampering with a witness.

The DA's office said Dee allegedly forcibly touched a female inmate at the Erie County Holding Center in the spring of 2019 while he was working as a jail deputy there. He allegedly got her to give him her phone number and called her once she was released, violating protocols that require deputies to report contact with former inmates. He was also charged with crimes in several other incidents between 2021 and early this year.

Erie County Sheriff John Garcia announced, effective May 19, 2022, Dee is terminated from the sheriff's office and released the following statement:

"An investigation found that Dee violated no less than eight Erie County Sheriff’s policies and procedures, including inmate fraternization, unbecoming conduct, and immoral conduct.

The Sheriff’s Professional Standard Division and Jail Management Division conducted a thorough investigation into the misconduct allegations that resulted in the disciplinary charges.

As per the collective bargaining agreement, the Sheriff’s Office must conduct a disciplinary hearing before the agency can take employment action.

A grand jury indicted Dee on April 26, 2022, on misdemeanor charges of sexual contact with an inmate.

Dee was on unpaid administrative leave before his termination Thursday."