HOLLY HILL, Fla. — More documents have been released that further detail the investigation into the Holly Hill Police Department.

What You Need To Know

  • Additional documents have been released by the Volusia County Sheriff's Office about an investigation into the Holly Hill Police Department

  • Some interviewees quoted in the Sheriff's Office report described alleged sex acts and sexual harassment within a toxic work environment at the department

  • Several department leaders resigned following the inquiry into the department, including Chief Jeff Miller, Capt. Chris Yates, and Sgt. Shannon Fountain

Earlier this week, information was made public regarding inappropriate incidents allegedly involving the department’s officers and staff members. In a report from the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, investigators describe alleged sex acts and sexual harassment within a toxic work environment.

Within the pages, details are included of what women officers and staffers say they experienced, involving not only some of the department’s senior leaders, but the former chief himself.

The report by the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office outlines the culture that many within the department said was "toxic" and sexual in nature. 

“I think when you read the interviews of these women it’ll raise the hair on the back of your neck in 2024 how could these things happen,” Sheriff Mike Chitwood said earlier in the week.

The investigation started back in February when former Holly Hill Police Chief Jeff Miller asked the Sheriff’s Office to investigate a complaint from a female officer regarding her male supervisor.

The inquiry prompted a larger investigation, which led to several department leaders resigning, including Miller, Capt. Chris Yates, and Sgt. Shannon Fountain.

The report details interviews with current and former officers and staffers who alleged sexual acts were not only talked about around others, but were performed in front of them.

The interviewees told Sheriff's Office investigators that former Miller and Yates allegedly asked women to expose themselves. In one incident detailed in the report, the now-former chief is accused of cornering a female officer in a record storage room and telling her to lift her shirt.

Another staff member claimed the chief exposed and touched himself in front of her.

When Miller was interviewed during the investigation, he reportedly told deputies that he had a significant numer of text messages from the women of the police department that allegeldy showed they initiated the contact.

However, investigators wrote in the report that Miller failed to show them any of the messages he claimed he had. 

The report shows that in September of 2023, a former officer emailed the city manager regarding his concerns that the department’s work environment was hostile and sexual in nature. Investigators note that following that email, no action was taken and the report indicates that the city manager believed the former officer was a “disgruntled employee."

 “As a result, no one was questioned, and there was no documentation into any of the allegations," the Sheriff's Office report said. "This oversight by City Manager (Joe) Forte allowed serious allegations to go unexamined and unresolved.”

After the release of the Sheriff's Office report Forte released a statement that said, in part:

"The actions of the chief, captain and sergeant seem antithetical to the very principles they are tasked with upholding and enforcing within our community. It is imperative that we continue the process of restoration within the holly hill police department."

A fourth department leader – Sgt. Tom Bentley – is facing disciplinary action.

On Wednesday, Spectrum News spoke with the incoming Holly Hill Police Chief Byron Williams, who is currently a captain with the Daytona Beach Police Department.

“I am a man of integrity, I am a man of accountability, I am a man of transparency. These are some of the things I want to bring to the table to the City of Holly Hill and to the residents of Holly Hill,” said Byron Williams.

Williams will be sworn in next month and will assume office on July 15.