WASHINGTON - One week after the demotion and transfer of a popular D.C. police commander created a community uproar in Southeast D.C., there is more controversy about his replacement. Questions are now being raised about a harassment complaint against the new commander and the transfer of one of his lieutenants.
D.C. Police Commander Regis Bryant was a very popular officer in the Seventh District, which covers Ward 8 in Southeast D.C. He had recently been named Commander of the Year, but after a sudden recent spike in violence, Police Chief Peter Newsham demoted him to inspector and transferred him downtown.
FOX 5 has learned of a new controversy in the Seventh District after a female lieutenant was suddenly transferred out of her job in patrol. According to two sources familiar with a harassment complaint, Lt. Marinthia Pemberton was transferred to the Homeland Security Bureau after she notified officials in the department of a complaint she had filed against the new commander, Andre Wright.
Sources said it was an Equal Employment Opportunity complaint of harassment against Commander Wright when he served in another capacity in the department. It is a complaint that ended with a settlement and an agreement that Wright not supervise her.
The details of the complaint are not public record and the exact allegations are unknown.
Lt. Pemberton’s transfer comes just days after many in the Ward 8 community expressed unhappiness over the removal of Bryant who was demoted as well as transferred for reasons not made public.
One of the critics was Ward 8 D.C. Councilmember Trayon White, who asked Mayor Muriel Bowser to immediately reinstate Bryant.
D.C. police said in a statement, "There have been no sustained EEO allegations nor are there pending complaints against Commander Wright."