Dante's Inferno

When Metro cop Dante Starks was found to have groped several female colleagues, his bosses knew just what to do: Transfer him.

Starks concedes that the pressures of police work, especially in an area such as Liberty City, may cause an occasional "lapse in judgment. But my job is to arrest the bad guys," he stresses. "I've made hundreds of arrests. I'll stack those against the few complaints I've received. As a rookie sergeant I produced stats that no other sergeant could. I shut down the drug dealers. That's why Major Campbell stood up for me."

As to his ultimate fate, Starks says, "That battle is not mine A it's the Lord's."

While Metro-Dade appears content with the extent of its disciplinary action, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) two weeks ago filed an administrative complaint against Starks, based on his alleged pattern of sexual harassment. The officer now has three options: He can voluntarily surrender his certification, he can admit to the allegations at an informal hearing, or he can demand a formal hearing on the charges. Possible punishments range from a letter of guidance to loss of certification.

In the meantime, Starks remains in uniform. Several weeks ago, in fact, he took part in a training session with many of his former colleagues from the Northside station. Among those gathered in the roll-call room were four of the women who alleged he had harassed them. According to a source who was on hand, Robin Ables was so distraught at the sight of Starks that she was allowed to leave for the day.

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