KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Knoxville Police deputy chief tendered his retirement last week amid an internal affairs investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against him, according to city and police leaders in a press conference on Wednesday. KPD Police Chief Eve Thomas called the allegations against Ron Green by a number of women horrifying and commended the women who came forward as heroes.
Thomas also said she wasn’t able to hear Green’s answers to the allegations before the investigation could be completed. So far, no criminal charges have been filed against Green.
“I’m completely horrified,” Thomas said Wednesday. “I don’t have words for how deeply disappointed and how horrific this is to me, especially as a female officer in this department.”
A news release shared by KPD officials shortly before the press conference states on Friday, Dec. 10, Chief Thomas received Deputy Chief Ronald Green’s notice of retirement as the internal review into serious allegations against Green was nearing its completion.
Earlier this year, on Aug. 13, 2021, Chief Thomas was made aware of an allegation of sexual misconduct against Deputy Chief Green. Based on the severity of the accusation, Thomas took immediate action by placing Green on paid administrative leave and requesting a formal Internal Affairs investigation. He had remained out on administrative leave since Aug. 13.
After that initial allegation was received, Internal Affairs was informed of numerous additional incidents of alleged inappropriate behavior between Green and other women dating as far back as 1998. Including the original complainant, five women agreed to take part in the investigation, including four current or former members of the KPD. Of those five separate complaints that were investigated, the Internal Affairs Unit anticipated that there was adequate proof to sustain a finding of violations of the KPD Code of Conduct policy in four of the cases.
“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,” Chief 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 also said during the press conference that she wished she had known about the allegations sooner so that the department could have acted on them sooner. Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon also spoke at the press conference.
“The allegations in this investigation are disturbing and concerning,” said Mayor Indya Kincannon. “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.”
At the time of the initial allegation, Deputy Chief Green was serving as the commander of the patrol division. When his retirement letter was received, the internal investigation was in the final stages but had not been fully completed.
Thomas said with what little she knows because she was not directly involved in the internal investigation, anyone can retire at any time and she could not control that. Currently, Green is retired but still under investigation. None of the five women want to be contacted by the media about the investigation.
“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.”
In a statement released by his legal representative, Green said, “I am aware of the allegations that have been made against me and I categorically deny each and every one of them, as I have from day one. The people that know me know that it is not in my nature to do such things.”