You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myPalmBeachPost.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myPalmBeachPost.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myPalmBeachPost.com.

Two Jupiter cops fired for texting sexually explicit photos on duty


Highlights

Jupiter officers have been on administrative leave

Police having sex while on duty is against Jupiter policy

The two Jupiter police sergeants who exchanged sexually explicit photographs while on duty and clashed in an April 17, 2016 lover’s spat in front of a Jupiter waterfront restaurant have been fired.

Amy Walling and Jason Vansteenburgh were on paid administrative leave during the internal investigation.

Police Chief Frank Kitzerow recommended termination. Jupiter Town Manager Andy Lukasik agreed, making the firing official.

The town manager has the final authority to hire and fire town employees, according to the town charter.

Lover’s fight between Jupiter cops results in investigation, suspension

“The actions of Sergeants Walling and Vansteenburgh were in violation of the Town’s policies and the Police Department’s General Orders. Their behavior was unacceptable and disappointing, and does not represent the culture or organizational values of the Town of Jupiter, the Jupiter Police Department or its employees,” according to Lukasik’s letter Thursday confirming the firings.

Kitzerow announced on Feb. 2 that an internal investigation revealed the two officers had sex while Vansteenburgh was on duty. The officers texted pornographic photos to each other, according to the internal Jupiter police investigation.

“I have carefully considered all of the relevant facts…. including the severity of the allegations, the great discredit these supervisors have brought upon themselves and the Jupiter Police Department and the Town of Jupiter, their lack of integrity and honesty, and the violation of the trust placed in them.… In addition, these violations were committed on duty or while in the performance of their duties,” Kitzerow wrote in a memo recommending firing the officers.

Walling and Vansteenburgh met in 1999 when they were both sergeants in Jupiter. Walling previously supervised Vansteenburgh when she was a major in criminal investigations and he was a detective assigned to her division. Their personal relationship started in 2012, according to the report.

Lukasik rejected Vansteenburgh’s contention that Walling had sexually harassed him after they broke up.

“I don’t find any competent, substantial evidence that you were being sexually harassed by then-Major Walling and threatened to the point of being compelled to send a photo of yourself, while working a special detail, in uniform with your penis exposed,” according to Lukasik’s letter.

In his letter firing Walling, Lukasik said Walling’s actions damaged her professional credibility so much that Walling could not return to duty.

“While you certainly didn’t compel Sergeant Vansteenburgh to have sex with you while on duty, you didn’t discourage the sexual act and were aware that it was a violation of the General Orders for him to engage in this activity,” according to Lukasik’s letter.

Read Lukasik’s letter to Walling.

Read Lukasik’s letter to Vansteenburgh.

Vansteenburgh once showed leadership potential in the police department, according to Lukasik.

“Sergeant Vansteenburgh, throughout your career, you have possessed the skills to be an effective law enforcement officer. You have shown aptitude for the job and impressed those who witnessed your efforts. I would count myself amongst those who would have considered you to have the potential to become a leader in the organization,” wrote Lukasik.

Walling had risen to the rank of major before being reduced to sergeant. Walling was the lead investigator in a hate crime three years ago that resulted in the arrest of three men in the bludgeoning death of 18-year-old Onesimo Marcelino Lopez-Ramos. Three men were charged with first-degree murder.

Neither Walling nor Vansteenburgh could be reached for comment.

Read:

Chief Kitzerow’s report (redacted)

Major Hirsch investigative report (redacted)

Investigator supplement report



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

UPDATE: Search to continue for missing swimmer reported off Lantana Beach
UPDATE: Search to continue for missing swimmer reported off Lantana Beach

The search for a missing swimmer off Lantana Beach is expected to continue Monday morning, according to WPTV. Palm Beach County Fire Rescue suspended the search overnight.  INITIAL REPORT 9:25 p.m. Sunday: Palm Beach County Fire Rescue is responding to reports of a missing a swimmer. Crews are reported to be searching the ocean off ...
JUST IN: Man injured in fall from Jupiter boat ramp
JUST IN: Man injured in fall from Jupiter boat ramp

Palm Beach County Fire Rescue transported a man to a hospital Sunday after he fell from a boat ramp. At 8:30 p.m., crews responded to  Burt Reynolds Park in the 800 block of U.S. 1, where a man fell off a boat ramp. The man was taken to a hospital for treatment. His identification and condition are not known.
JUST IN: Driver flees after killing 51-year-old pedestrian in Boynton
JUST IN: Driver flees after killing 51-year-old pedestrian in Boynton

Boynton Beach Police are investigating a hit-and-run that killed a 51-year-old pedestrian early Sunday. Naborina Palacios was hit by a white Hyundai Genesis when she was crossing the intersection of North Congress Avenue and West Gateway Boulevard at about 2:12 a.m., said Boynton Beach Police spokeswoman Stephanie Slater. Palacios had been...
BREAKING: Missing diver’s body found off Broward County
BREAKING: Missing diver’s body found off Broward County

The body of a missing diver was found this afternoon off Broward County. The Broward County Sheriff’s Office reported that Antonio Almeida, 60, went missing Saturday when he failed to surface about half a mile east of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea. The Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit located the body today after multiple Coast Guard crews and a helicopter...
UPDATE: 7 near-drownings Sunday on Palm Beach County beaches
UPDATE: 7 near-drownings Sunday on Palm Beach County beaches

Five people in Riviera Beach and two in Lake Worth were transported to hospitals Sunday after nearly drownings in seperate incidents. Palm Beach County Fire Rescue crews responded at 5:16 p.m. to 10 South Ocean Ave at Lake Worth Beach to a teenage male and a man nearly drowning, said Palm Beach County Fire Rescue spokesman Albert Borroto...
More Stories