Four gay police officers were targeted in an internal drug investigation because they were known for ‘notoriously promiscuous’ behavior.
New documents revealed the drug test was targeted at the officers because it was known they frequently visited gay bars.
Serving officers Christopher Sheehy, Steven Rapisarda and Shane Housego and former officer Christian McDonald are the four gay officers who were targeted in the drug investigation.
They are now seeking compensation and an apology from New South Wales Police. They feel they were targeted because of their sexuality.
The four officers claim they were told they had been selected for random drug testing in 2015. They say no other officers were tested.
A lawyer for the men explained: ‘While they’re all gay men, none of them were friends or socialized together,
‘It was only after they had each been tested that they communicated with each other and realized something was amiss.’
The new documents released by the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal reveals there was a ‘genuine concern’ the four were taking drugs.
A statement by Newtown Police Station Commander, Superintendant Simon Hardman, revealed he became suspicious of the four after a fifth officer returned a positive result for ecstasy, speed and prescription drugs.
A hair sample done in May 2015 found the drug traces.
Superintendent Hardman noted that Sergeant Zisopoulous, the fifth officer, shaving his head and arms.
The following week, McDonald and Rapisarda came to work with ‘extremely short’ haircuts.
The Superintendent stated: ‘Suspicion now develops that this is a deliberate action to avoid drug detention.’
The ‘close friendship’ between the five and their attendance at local bars reportedly ‘known for drug use’ raised ‘further suspicion.’
‘…Notorious for their promiscuity…’
In his statement, Superintendent Hardman wrote ‘George, Christian and Christopher are also notorious for their promiscuity.’
He added that while there was no direct evidence to suggest the group had taken drugs, the investigation would continue.
Superintendent Hardman explained: ‘I cannot justify seeking targeted drug testing of anyone in the group,
‘That said, their regular attendance at licensed premises that have significant intelligence holdings for drug trade is of concern.’
The four allege their treatment was the result of homophobic beliefs fostered by senior management.
New South Wales Police Commissioner Mick Fuller refused to investigate allegations of homophobic bullying.
Lawyers for the gay officers wrote to NSW police, urging them to investigate.
In a letter replying to the lawyers, then-assistant commissioner Fuller decided a full investigation into the homophobia claims was not needed.
The drug tests were part of a six-month-long investigation. All four men were eventually cleared of taking drugs.