Evansville police officer fired amid bartender's allegations

EVANSVILLE, Ind. - An Evansville police officer honored last year as the department's officer of the year has been fired amid allegations he made unwanted advances toward a bartender while on duty.

Steve Hicks was fired Monday by the Police Merit Commission following an 11-hour hearing.

The Evansville Courier & Press reports that Hicks has denied Lisa Turpen's allegations that he went uninvited behind the bar at Rick's 718 Bar in September, touched her several times and grabbed her tank top.

Police Chief Billy Bolin suspended Hicks without pay and recommended his firing following an internal investigation. Bolin told the merit board he recommended Hicks' firing for several reasons, including his actions toward Turpen and because Hicks didn't inform dispatchers where he was when he visited the bar a second time.

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