Can False Allegations Be Investigated Twice?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a false allegation: Can my agency re-investigate me for the same allegation, even if there is no additional evidence?

I was the subject of false allegations by a subordinate as retaliation for a disciplinary action. I was cleared of the allegation. However, my law enforcement agency allows accusers to remain anonymous. The accuser has been recently dismissed by the agency and I am concerned that he is going to make the same allegations. Can my agency re-investigate me for the same allegation, even if there is no additional evidence?

Signed, Waiting For the Other Shoe To Drop

Dear Waiting For the Other Shoe To Drop:

Apparently the accuser in the false allegations made against you wasn’t very anonymous or you wouldn’t know he was the one who was fired. If others think it as well, he probably has very little credibility anyway. Your department and the government entity it serves probably has HR and Internal Affairs requirements for such things. I doubt they would spend the time on investigating a situation that sounds just like a former complaint–especially an anonymous one. We aren’t attorneys, so we can’t provide legal advice. But, if you are accused of exactly the same thing again, you should ask an attorney for advice about how to respond. The good news is that I doubt that will happen.

I can understand the trauma of going through one investigation and not wanting another one. However, you also do not want to think about it so obsessively that you let it keep you from moving forward and feeling positive. Best wishes to you with this matter.

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.