Jupiter Police Chief Frank Kitzerow
Jupiter Police officer Jason Vansteenburgh, whose firing has been recommended after sexual misconduct while on duty with officer Amy Walling, was reprimanded in 2012, according to internal investigation reports obtained by The Palm Beach Post.
Jupiter Police Chief Frank Kitzerow on Feb. 3 recommended firing of both officers for conduct unbecoming an officer after an internal affairs investigation found they engaged in sex acts while on duty.
The latest report also lists additional text messages between Walling and Vansteenburgh.
Town Manager Andy Lukasik is expected to make a final decision on the firings next month.
According to the latest report, Jupiter police officers reported on Jan. 2, 2012 to a disturbance between Jupiter Police Officer Matthew Owen and Vansteenburgh at Owen’s residence.
A formal letter of reprimand was issued to Owen, who is still employed as a police officer, Kitzerow said.
The disturbance started after Owen damaged a bathroom door at the Thirsty Turtle restaurant at the southwest corner of U.S. 1 and Donald Ross Road, according to the report.
“Subsequent conversations with the owner revealed that they would not call the Juno Beach police to report the crime as long as Vansteenburgh made contact with Owen to resolve the matter,” according to the report from Jupiter Police Capt. James Barrett to Kitzerow.
Vansteenburgh told police investigators he got a call that night about the disturbance from his girlfriend, who is the daughter of the owner of Thirsty Turtle. When Vansteenburgh was unable to contact Owen, Vansteenburgh went to Owen’s residence, according to the report.
“Vansteenburgh said that all he was trying to do was to get Owen to come out so he could give him the phone number to (the owner of the Thirsty Turtle) to get the matter resolved,” according to the report.
Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office Deputy Paul Hatcher, who lives in the complex, said he heard Vansteenburgh banging on Owen’s door with his fists, yelling “Matt come out, come outside.”
Hatcher approached Vansteenburgh and told him he was a sheriff’s deputy. Owen told Vansteenburgh he was waking people up and should leave, according to the report.
“Vansteenburgh said that if he (Hatcher) came back with the police, there would be a fight and that he should bring his gun,” according to the report. Owen called police.
After a hearing held on April 18, 2012, Kitzerow sustained the findings of the investigation. Kitzerow found that Vansteenburgh committed conduct unbecoming of an officer.
“Another incident of this type may be grounds for further discipline,” according to the report.