FORT WORTH — A Fort Worth police captain who officials allege used a city computer at least 100 times to visit pornographic sites and also masturbated while on duty has been fired by the department, police officials announced Thursday.
L.A. Harris, who had been on the force almost 23 years and had been promoted to the rank of captain in June 2011, was indefinitely suspended Wednesday.
His attorney, Craig Driskell with the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas, said Harris appealed his firing Thursday.
“It’s easy to pass judgment on Captain Harris but I wonder how many people passing judgment have also viewed online pornography?” Driskell said. “Captain Harris will be the first to tell you that he’s got an addiction problem - something he’s currently being treated for. But to fire a man just two years away from retirement seems a bit harsh.”
Driskell said even a deputy chief “thought demotion was appropriate enough in Captain Harris’s case.”
According to Fort Worth police, detectives with the Special Investigations Unit had been looking into Harris’ activities as one of two overnight duty captains when they discovered multiple links to sexually explicit websites associated with Harris’s computer profile.
Internal Affairs immediately launched an investigation, officials said.
According to a disciplinary letter filed with the Civil Service Commission on Thursday, Harris admitted to accessing and viewing pornographic sites on a city computer between October and December.
A usage report indicated Harris had visited the sites at least 100 times during that 3-month period, the letter states.
Harris also admitted to engaging in what the letter describes as “sexual misconduct” while on duty and in three separate work locations, the letter states. A news release issued by the department describes the misconduct as “self-gratification.”
“This behavior is absolutely deplorable and violates the public’s trust which is something I will never tolerate because it is not in keeping with the highest ethical standards of the Fort Worth Police Department,” Police Chief Jeffrey Halstead said in a statement released by the department.