Suspended WSU police chief disputes allegations

WSU drops sexual harassment investigation.

Two employees of Wright State University dropped allegations of sexual harassment they had informally made against police Chief Michael Martinsen, on the same day he defended himself in a public statement.

Martinsen, WSU’s police chief since 2008, remains on paid administrative leave while the university continues to investigate the other informal complaints made against him: a hostile work environment, retaliation and misuse of a university-issued credit card.

Martinsen released a statement Friday that in part said he took a polygraph test to prove he is innocent of all allegations.

Wright State also issued a statement saying that, “while the university has not made a finding of any misconduct on Mr. Martinsen’s part, the university has reassigned the complainants to other departments on campus.” Last week, the university told Martinsen in a letter that it is obligated to investigate the claims, but the “need to investigate is not a reflection upon your integrity, competence or ethics.”

In his statement, Martinsen said the last week “has been an absolutely nightmare.” He said he was first advised by Wright State that he should not issue a response publicly to the accusations, but learned later it was permitted.

He asked that his 763-word statement be shared in full, and it is posted online at MyDaytonDailyNews.com.

In the statement, Martinsen said on Sunday he took a polygraph test by a certified examiner to prove he did not sexually harass anyone or make unauthorized purchases on the university-issued credit card. In Ohio, polygraph test results are not used as evidence in court cases unless both sides agree, said legal expert Tom Hagel, a professor of law at the University of Dayton. Speaking in general, Hagel said polygraph tests have been found to be scientifically unreliable.

Martinsen also said the purchases in question with the university-issued credit card were approved by university administrators, but the university has neither interviewed him nor asked him for evidence in the investigation.

Martinsen said he was responding because the investigation and its media coverage has “permanently damaged” his reputation and his family “has suffered an enormous toll.”

Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.

X