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The City of Madison is committed to a workplace free of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. We take violations of workplace policy very seriously, and we work hard to ensure we build trust with City employees and the public.

In December 2021, a complaint was filed regarding an exit interview discussion between Chief Barnes and another officer that included comments regarding the officer’s personal and family life. The complaint did not include allegations of sexual harassment, sexual innuendo, or other sexual comments, and no allegations were sustained.

It is very disappointing that the confidentiality that is critical to creating a safe environment for people to file complaints was breached. Rumors of the allegations made it to the press, and City staff inadvertently confirmed details about the complaint, which was harmful to both parties. For the City’s part in this, we apologize.