Deputy Chief retires during probe into sexual misconduct

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KPD Chief Eve Thomas (left) and Mayor Indya Kincannon prepare for a Wednesday morning press conference about the departure of Ron Green. Photo by J.J. Stambaugh

One of the Knoxville Police Department’s highest-ranking commanders resigned just before Internal Affairs investigators finished a probe into allegations he committed numerous acts of “sexual misconduct,” officials said at a Wednesday press conference.

Deputy Chief Ron Greene, who headed KPD’s Patrol Division, gave notice on Friday that he was retiring, a move that effectively halted the IA probe, according to Police Chief Eve Thomas.

“I was horrified that allegations of this type would be made against any member of the KPD, much less one of the members of our command staff,” Thomas said. “The expectation is that KPD employees treat their fellow employees and those we serve in a way that makes them feel safe, respected and valued at all times. This type of alleged behavior falls in complete opposition of that expectation.” 

Thomas and Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon announced Green’s retirement and the results of the internal investigation during the press conference at KPD headquarters.

Green, a 28-year veteran, is only the second Black officer to ever reach the rank of deputy chief at KPD. His duties included supervising the department’s Patrol Division, and his annual salary was $101,849. 

According to Thomas, an allegation of “sexual misconduct” was filed against Green on August 13, the same day he was placed on administrative leave and the formal IA investigation as launched. 

As the probe continued, IA investigators learned of “numerous additional incidents” involving other women, with the earliest allegation taking place in 1998 — the year he was first promoted to the rank of sergeant. 

A total of five women agreed to take part in the IA investigation, which was ultimately able to substantiate four of the allegations, Thomas said. 

“I am proud of the women who came forward with these allegations,” Thomas said. “That takes real courage. I am also proud of our Internal Affairs investigators, who worked thoroughly and persistently to uncover the facts in this case. This case proves that nobody is beyond reproach or above the law, regardless of rank.”

Thomas refused to provide details of the allegations at the press conference, although she did say that four of the five women were current or former KPD employees. She also said that none of the incidents were criminal in nature. 

When asked if she had any inkling that Green was engaged in sexual misconduct: “No, no, no. I’m horrified. I don’t have words for how deeply disappointed and how horrific this is to me, especially as a female officer in this department.”

Thomas was also asked if she would move to have Green’s POST certification revoked. “I’ll be looking into that,” she replied.

According to Thomas, the IA file will be made public once the Law Department has had a chance to review it and make redactions that are required by law. In the meantime, a summary of the IA report was released several hours after the press conference. (See article at https://hardknoxwire.com/new-i-think-hes-a-predator/)

When asked if the women had been satisfied by the outcome of the probe, Thomas replied: “Nobody’s happy with this. No one is happy. No, they’re not happy.”

“The allegations in this investigation are disturbing and concerning,” Mayor Indya Kincannon said. “I want any and all City employees to know that we take any sexual misconduct allegations seriously and that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated. I applaud Chief Thomas for taking immediate action once these allegations surfaced, and for showing discretion while the investigation was underway.” 

Green was first hired in 1993 and was promoted to sergeant in 1998, lieutenant in 2005, captain in 2014, and deputy chief in 2018. He has been a member of the Motor Unit and has also been the Traffic Services Coordinator.  While Captain, Green served as the Patrol Support Commander before he was assigned as the East District Commander, according to the City of Knoxville’s website.

Green has a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Liberty University, is a 2003 graduate of the Northwestern School of Police Staff and Command, a graduate of the 2007 FBI National Academy Session 231, and a graduate of the 2014 Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) Senior Management Institute for Police.

J.J. Stambaugh can be reached at jjstambaugh@hardknoxwire.com.

Published on December 16, 2021.