No criminal charges filed against two city of East Dubuque employees accused of sexual misconduct

The East Dubuque Police Department.
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EAST DUBUQUE, Illinois (KCRG-TV9) -- Jo Daviess County State's Attorney John Hay has not filed criminal charges against two city of East Dubuque employees, despite accusations of sexual misconduct from multiple women.

According to documents, officers with the Illinois State Police investigated City Manager Geoff Barklow and Assistant Police Chief Gerald Fluhr.

A woman accused Barklow of unwanted advances and behavior. According to an investigative report, the woman said Barklow offered her a ride home from a bar in January of 2018. The woman said she refused, but Barklow said he didn't want her to get a public intoxication citation. The woman eventually accepted Barklow's offer.

However, the investigative report states the woman said Barklow did not give her a ride home. Instead, Barklow passed her house and drove them to his home. The woman stated Barklow asked her to come inside so they could talk, but she declined.

According to the investigative report, the woman said she went into Barklow's home after about 15 minutes of waiting outside. She said she told Barklow she would call a friend to give her a ride if he didn't drive her home. The woman said Barklow then began to talk to her about beginning a relationship with her, which she did not want.

The woman told investigators she made a move toward the door to leave, but Barklow stepped in front of her. According to the investigative report, Barklow reached out and touched the woman's breast with his hand.

Barklow told investigators he never touched the woman's breast and he took her home as soon as she asked him.

In a document, Hay indicated he is not filing criminal charges due to a lack of insufficient evidence.

Illinois State Police also investigated Assistant Police Chief Fluhr.

The same woman who accused Barklow of inappropriate behavior said Fluhr sent her "weird" Facebook messages, as well as abused his position.

According to an investigative report, the woman told investigators she received a Facebook message from Fluhr. In the message, he told her that it was a good thing he knew her maiden name or he would've had to make an arrest at her house. The woman did not know what he meant, and Fluhr revealed that he ran the license plate of a car that was in the woman's driveway. This concerned the woman because she believed he had no right to run a license plate of a car parked on private property.

State police discovered Fluhr ran about 108 criminal history inquiries from 2015 to 2018. In comparison, the rest of the East Dubuque Police Department ran only 19 in that same time.

The woman also told investigators Fluhr sent her Facebook messages in which he commented on her appearance and looks, said he liked to tease her and mentioned something about a "big butt."

According to investigative documents, another woman told investigators Fluhr tried to pull down her shirt and attempted to look at her croch area while she was working at a local bar.

This woman reported the incident to the East Dubuque Police Department. The investigative report states Police Chief Steve O'Connell contacted the woman's boss who was not aware of the situation. O'Connell attempted to get the video surveillance video from the bar, but it was no longer saved. O'Connell never spoke to the woman about the incident.

Another woman told investigators Fluhr made unwanted sexual advances towards her, such as touching her leg on multiple occasions, despite her making it clear she did not appreciate the behavior.

This woman also told investigators Fluhr asked her about her sex life, which prompted her to notify Barklow of the behavior. The woman emailed screenshots of the text messages from Fluhr to Barklow. State investigators later discovered Barklow removed some of the text messages before forwarding them to Chief O'Connell.

Tonight, the public is invited to attend the Personnel Committee Commission meeting at 6 p.m. at the East Dubuque Fire Station to voice their opinion.

We will bring you updates from that meeting.