MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- A group of Mesa Police officers intends to sue the City of Mesa and the Mesa Police Department for allowing a superior to keep his job, even after they came forward with claims of sexual harassment.

The group is announcing a notice of claim tomorrow, alleging the city failed to properly investigate and discipline Sgt. Jeffrey Neese. A notice of claim is a precursor to a lawsuit.

[WATCH: Women sue City of Mesa after officer accused of sexual misconduct keeps job]

Two of the women spoke exclusively with Arizona’s Family describing disturbing text messages, fears of retaliation and concerns about their futures with the Mesa Police Department.

“He should not be with the police department anymore,” says Ofc. Amanda Cook, who provided transcripts and screenshots of text conversations she had with Sgt. Neese beginning on March 31, 2018.

“There were extremely disturbing emojis depicting masturbation,” says Cook.

Screenshots provided by Cook show Neese thanked her for a hug on March 31, 2018, and told her it gave him “something more to think about in private moments.”

In a text dated April 4, 2018, Neese said he only likes to sleep “after an orgasm.”

Cook says the sexual text messages persisted for nearly a week, but at the time she was a rookie and feared complaining about the messages would lead to retaliation or hold her back from promotions and special assignments.

“I felt like nobody would believe me. Nobody would even care,” says Cook. “How did I stop this conversation from happening without jeopardizing the rest of my career?”

Cook says the messages stopped when she stopped responding. Then she says in March 2019, she learned Neese had been removed from his SWAT assignment because other women had complained about receiving sexual messages.

Mesa Police Det. Ashley Elliff says she was one of those women.

“I thought I could push those feelings of embarrassment aside,” says Elliff, who claims she received texts from Neese beginning in August 2017. She says she made a complaint a year later when she learned a friend and fellow officer had received sexual messages from Neese.

Elliff described one of the text exchanges.

“He said ‘I was at home entertaining myself,’” says Elliff. “I knew he was eluding to masturbation when he said that. And it was confirmed when he told me, ‘You were the last person I saw. So, thank you for that image.’”

In a Human Resources report dated May 23, 2019, Neese referred to a previous investigation. He claimed he had “no memory” of the texts he’s accused of sending Cook and suggested they were fake texts created with an app.

Human Resources sustained the allegation against Neese after using a forensics firm to verify the texts were sent from his phone number and “had not been fabricated or altered.” The report does not include recommendations for disciplinary action.

Cook says Neese was demoted last week to an officer. The Mesa Police Department would not confirm that, saying the department does not comment on officer discipline when the officer still has an opportunity to appeal. The department does not comment on pending litigation.

The City of Mesa also said it does not comment on pending litigation.

Cook says Neese may have been stripped of authority, but as a patrol officer, he continues to pose a risk to women everywhere.

“This officer, now officer, is available and being out there in the public to potentially do this to any other females,” says Cook.

Arizona’s Family reached Jeffrey Neese on the phone, but he declined to comment on the allegations against him.

 


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

 

Locations

Recommended for you

(18) comments

Born in AZ

Question for everyone. Are women not allowed to tell a guy to STOP? The simple threat of being reported would deter a lot of guys from this behavior. I don't understand how women will let this go on for so long and then one day just decide to say something. If women are so "empowered", why not stop it before it gets out of hand.

jacksmol

Your question is answered in the article.

JustinP

Um, stop being rational

Bewill

Good job ladies! You just got a silent radio when you call for backup! These ladies just made themselves a uncooperative workplace to be in. No reason this story should be out in the public. You should've done this discreetly and had his a-ss kicked or went on patrol with him and "accidentally" drop your knife on his junk!!!

BlahBlah

Inappropriate. But...these are the innocent damsels expected to protect the public?

Shredder

OMG - "disturbing emojis" how can we possibly do our jobs? The guy is a sleazebag for sure, but suing is a bit extreme. Grow up.

jacksmol

So you're ok with your boss sending you unsolicited texts about him wacking off. Good to know.

WarVet

As a retired Ex Police Officer for many years, this kind of conduct damages all Police Officers. He should have been fired, however there's a lot of nepotism within many Police Departments and it's not easy to fire a relative, or close friends.

Show Me Data

Despite the attribution, it's more likely the actual author of this article is Mrs. Malaprop. The correct word is alluding, not eluding.

AZRepublican

I always wonder if that kind of lame harassment works on some women ????

docketman

Castrate the POS

jacob-azfamily22

Oh great.. Mesa is obviously top notch! First, they rehire citizen killer Philip Brailsford back just so they can give him benefits for life after he murdered Daniel Shaver in a hotel hallway and now they're protecting that POS Sergeant.

Tony

Check see if this guy Meese is a mormon

theazdude

EXACTLY what I was thinking Jacob....and @Tony, I bet he is!

Cthulhu

That's abhorrent behavior and I hope he gets reprimanded for it!

Coolmatt123

If that gay chicken that killed daniel shaver got to keep his job after murdering a defenseless, non threatening citizen, what makes you think theyd fire a loser for touching a bunch of butts?

TheTruthHurts

What a perv

robertscomputer

You go Joeann[huh]

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.