The Erie County Sheriff’s Office fired a longtime jail sergeant who was being investigated for misconduct and was recently charged with improper contact with an inmate.
Robert M. Dee, 41, of Eden, who was suspended without pay after a December arrest for domestic violence, was fired effective Thursday, Sheriff John C. Garcia said in a news release Friday after -noon.
An internal investigation found Dee violated eight of the agency’s policies and procedures, including inmate fraternization, conduct unbecoming and immoral conduct, the sheriff’s office said.
In late April, an Erie County grand jury charged Dee, 41, with forcibly touching an inmate’s private parts in the spring of 2019. Dee also called her after she was released, violating office protocol. of the sheriff, District Attorney John J. Flynn said in April.
The grand jury also indicted Dee on three counts of official misconduct. The charges stem from allegations that while on duty in October he drove his government vehicle into a Hamburg city park, picked up a woman there and they had sex at his house, Flynn said.
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A grand jury charged Robert M. Dee, 41, of Eden, with forcible touching for touching an inmate’s private parts on March 19, 2019, and again on May 29, 2019, the office of the Grand Jury announced Tuesday. district attorney.
In December, Eden police charged Dee after a domestic disturbance at his home while he was off duty. Officers charged him with attempting to suffocate a woman and charged him with felony obstruction of breathing or blood flow, a misdemeanor, and ordered him to stay away from the victim, Flynn said.
However, Dee was found to have violated the protective order when Eden police responded to another domestic disturbance at his home on Jan. 4 and found the woman there, Flynn said. This led to a criminal contempt charge.
A charge of criminal contempt was again filed, along with witness tampering, related to the January 18 and February 20 incidents. Flynn said Dee asked the woman not to comply with court orders related to her charges.
Dee pleaded not guilty to the charges and is released on $25,000 bond.
Dee was also investigated for other matters.
In recent months, two inmates have made serious allegations against Robert Dee, a sergeant at the Erie County Detention Center who once married a woman he met behind bars.
The Buffalo News reported in November 2020 that Dee had been the subject of two internal investigations that year on charges of inappropriate contact with female inmates. During these investigations, Dee told internal investigators that he never touched an inmate inappropriately and that no administrative charges were filed.
However, the revelations about Dee and other Division of Prisons Management staffers sparked legal action by the state’s Commission of Corrections and the state attorney general’s office. To settle the case, then-Sheriff Timothy B. Howard signed an agreement to better investigate reports of sexual contact between his staff and inmates.
Dee also figured prominently in a case involving the death of detention center inmate Richard A. Metcalf Jr. in 2012. The State Board of Corrections, which investigates deaths in New York jails and jails York, said Metcalf was asphyxiated when prison deputies tied the strings of a spitting mask around his neck so tightly he could not breathe. Dee was one of two sergeants overseeing Metcalf’s treatment that evening. The commission urged Sheriff Howard to discipline Dee, but he refused. A special prosecutor has not filed charges in Metcalf’s death.