Four officers from Australia, Christopher Sheehy, Steven Rapisarda and Shane Housego who are currently serving, and former officer Christian McDonald, say they were wronged by the New South Wales Police Force who acted against them because of their sexuality.
The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal released court documents showing that there was “genuine concern” that the four men were taking part in illegal drug taking because they regularly frequented gay bars.
It all started when a fifth officer, named Sergeant George Zisopoulous, had a hair sample tested positive for use of ecstasy, speed, and prescription drugs back in May of 2015.
Superintendent Simon Hardman, in a statement, noted that afterwards Sergeant Zisopoulous shaved his head and arms. Then coincidentally officers McDonald and Rapisarda later cut their hair “extremely short” within the following week.
In the statement, Superintendent Harmon stated that such actions caused suspicion of additional drug use and an attempt to avoid detection.
Then, the statement gets pretty… harebrained.
Excuses for the investigation into them go so far as to note the close friendships between the officers, and their frequent visits to gay bars such as Stonewall, the Beresford Hotel, and the Ivy.
Then possibly the furthest stretch was when the statement pointed out that "George, Christian and Christopher are also notorious for their promiscuity.”
Superintendent Hardman later admitted in his statement that there was no direct evidence to suggest officers Sheehy, McDonald, Rapisarda or Housego had taken illicit drugs. But, he still urged a further investigation of the four.
"I cannot justify seeking targeted drug testing of anyone in the group," he said.
"That said, their regular attendance at licensed premises that have significant intelligence holdings for drug trade is of concern.
"Even in the absence of evidence, I retain a genuine concern the group is actively involved in recreational/illegal drug use."
After the six-month Professional Standards investigation, codenamed Strike Force Andro, the four men were cleared, but now they are seeking compensation and an apology from the force.