This is one of the stories the Geneva Police Department tried to intimidate me into dropping. I’m sure you’ll shortly understand why.
For this one, we need to head back to 2013 when then 20-year GPD Sergeant Rick Castner “retired” as the result of a “work related disability.” It was supposed to be a shoulder injury – at least that’s what the paperwork said.
But, as you might imagine, that wasn’t the case.
You see, the former Sergeant’s first problem was that some of his peers came across Internet videos of his wife – with other men. And those clips eventually made their way to the GPD command staff.
Now, you know I have no problem with what goes on between consenting adults, but the “lifestyle” probably isn’t the best choice for a police officer. It’s that whole higher standard thing. And when you consider the GPD’s prime directive, as dictated by Mayor Kevin Burns, is to maintain Geneva’s reputation at all costs, this revelation wasn’t going to help his career.
Given their propensity to bury embarrassing information, Castner might’ve survived the swinger situation, because it isn’t a crime, and the last thing the City wanted was for all of this to be exposed through a messy lawsuit.
But when Castner started recruiting partners from within the GPD ranks, that kinda sealed his fate. And the accomplice who ended his career was then officer Sarah Sullivan. According to one of six sources, “The had sex in patrol cars, they had sex in bars, they had sex in the station, and go ahead and use your imagination.”
Again! I generally don’t recommend inter-office flings for all of the obvious reasons. But if it made them happy, and it didn’t interfere with or cause problems with their police work, then it’s the whole sinless individual casting the first stone thing.
But it did interfere with their jobs. Many of their liaisons took place on taxpayer time, and when the GPD suddenly couldn’t raise either officer on the radio because they were otherwise occupied in the back of a parked patrol car, even the command staff managed to put two and two together.
But instead of immediately terminating our star-crossed lovers, as should’ve been the case, they forced Castner to retire to keep the press from getting the story. So, he left with all the pomp and circumstance a 20-year officer in good standing deserves.
And as an astute reader pointed out, Castner’s bogus disability ruling most certainly padded his pension.
I FOIAd whatever parting arrangement the GPD and Castner managed to hammer out, but the City of Geneva said no such agreement exists, which is an outright lie. You and I both know they didn’t cut Castner loose without some sort of non-disclosure clause in place, but the GPD knows you can’t appeal a lie to the Attorney General’s Office without evidence that a document exists.
While Castner was cast adrift, this affair turned out to be Officer Sullivan’s best career move. Instead of being fired, she was shortly promoted to detective. As my lovely wife remarked, “Wow! The guy got fired and the woman got promoted? That’s different!”
It is different, but that doesn’t make it right.
And the reasons for the GPD’s sudden largesse are, had they correctly terminated Sullivan, not only would the story have gone public, but there would’ve been a massive sexual harassment lawsuit.
Don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe Sullivan knew exactly what she was doing. Some of my sources said her flings with fellow officers weren’t limited to Castner, so there was no intimidation involved here. But when a fling involves a patrol officer and her Sergeant supervisor, that changes the entire legal dynamic.
The City of Geneva would’ve been on the hook for a very large payout.
So, she’s still on the force, and she will be as long as she wants to be. Wouldn’t we all love that kind of job security? Who cares if the taxpayers have to foot the bill for officers getting busy on duty? Who cares if there might’ve been an emergency call while she was otherwise engaged?
And that’s the part that really frosts my cookies. For every brave #MeToo woman who lost a job because they came forward with the details, there’s a Sarah Sullivan who uses her sexuality to advance her career.
I repeatedly reached out to the GPD command staff, Detective Sullivan, and the Geneva City Council for comment, but none was forthcoming. And the City Council has known about this for over a year.
This is your Geneva Police people, and this is just the tip of the iceberg, too. There’s one standard for them and a higher one for us. In the coming months we’ll cover how the GPD let Mayor Burns slide on as many as eight DUIs, and how the Mayor and his daughters use the Geneva Police as their own private paramilitary force.