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Martin County sheriff's captain to face suspension following complaint of inappropriate comments

Posted at 11:49 PM, Sep 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-11 04:26:42-04

A Martin County Sheriff’s Office captain will be suspended for five days and retire early next year following an investigation that found he said offensive things to a female employee.

It will be the end of Capt. Brian Bergen’s 25-year career with the sheriff’s office.

Martin County Sheriff William Snyder said he asked the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office to investigate the complaint.

Bergen was accused of calling the woman “a prostitute” or “street walker,” according to records. She also complained that he made offensive comments about her appearance and clothing.

“This is the only complaint we’ve had of this nature with the captain. In fact, It’s the only complaint I’ve had since I’ve been here as sheriff of any of my staff as far as improper comments,” Snyder said.

Snyder said the woman who filed the complaint was satisfied with the punishment.

Records showed Bergen did not apologize for certain comments because he did not know she was offended and just thought of her as "one of the guys."

She told investigators she was “so mad I could feel my heartbeat under my eyes.”

Bergen will also undergo training and agreed to retire in March 2019 when he hits his 25-year mark with the sheriff’s office.

“That's a considerable ramification because it effectively ended his career. He’s gone in March, he didn’t have to leave in March. He didn’t have to retire, he’s eligible to retire. But, he didn’t have to retire,” Snyder said.

Had Bergen not retired, Snyder said he could have faced a drop in rank.

Snyder says Bergen is currently on a pre-approved paid time off, but will serve the suspension in the near future.