Court records detail actions of sheriff's brother

ABC2 News Investigators have uncovered new information about the multi-million dollar civil lawsuit against a local sheriff and his brother.  It claims sexual harassment at the hands of a Queen Anne's County corporal and a lack of action by his brother, the Sheriff Gary Hofmann.

Sheriff Hofmann may be at the center of a $10.5 million dollar lawsuit brought by one of his former detectives, Kristy Murphy-Taylor, but his brother is the reason.  Court records show Corporal John Hofmann pleaded guilty to second degree assault after attacking Murphy-Taylor as the two drove back from a hearing in Cecil County in 2009.  But that may not have been his only unwanted advance...

BACKGROUND | Former detective files multi-million dollar lawsuit against local sheriff

ABC2 News Investigators pulled the decision from Hofmann's case with the Maryland Police Training Commission.  That agency revoked his certification to act as a law enforcement officer following Hofmann's plea and a subsequent hearing. 

Records related to the hearing show Detective Murphy-Taylor claimed Corporal Hofmann assaulted her during a 2007 conference in California.  In testimony she claims she reported the assault directly to the sheriff and he threatened her about telling anyone else.

The court documents (below) show Corporal Hofmann was investigated internally by Captain James Williams with the Queen Anne's County Office of the Sheriff and that Hofmann was never interrogated about his conduct with Murphy-Taylor.  Instead he just filled out a questionnaire.

In response to questions provided by Captain Williams, Corporal Hofmann claimed Kristy Murphy-Taylor flashed her breasts at him several times, watched porn with him at that California conference and at one point asked him if performing a sex act on him could help get her a promotion.  Murphy-Taylor denies those claims.  And despite Detective Murphy-Taylor's claims in court, Sheriff Hofmann told us he was completely unaware of any situation between her and his brother.

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As part of the internal investigation, records show Corporal Hofmann was never asked by Captain Williams if the sexual contact between him and Detective Murphy-Taylor was consensual.

The Maryland Police Training Commission revoked Corporal Hofmann's law enforcement certification in November 2011, saying it was concerned and troubled by his conduct.  Court documents related to the decision say, "Clearly if Mr. Hofmann is unable to resist making sexual advances on a fellow officer that he essentially contends dressed provocatively, the Commission has a legitimate concern that Mr. Hofmann may be unable to control himself if he encounters someone dressed provocatively while he is on-duty and that such an inability to exercise restraint and control could impose a safety risk to himself, other officers, and/or the public."

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