The captain of the L.A. County Sheriff's Malibu/Lost Hills Station has been relieved of duty with pay during an investigation into claims that he sexually harassed a subordinate.
"He has been relieved of duty with pay. That is our right so we can continue this probe," said Steve Whitmore, a spokesman for the sheriff's department.
The investigation began in early January when a female deputy alleged that Capt. Joseph Stephen Jr., who is assigned to the Lost Hills/Malibu Station, retired Chief Ronnie Williams and recently-retired Capt. Anthony Ward coerced her into sexual relationships.
Both Stephen and Williams have denied the allegations made by the deputy, who is the daughter of a top aide to Sheriff Lee Baca.
Stephen told The L.A. Times that the woman's allegations were "absolutely, unequivocally" untrue.
The female deputy is on leave, without pay, because of unrelated felony vandalism and misdemeanor battery charges.
Lt. Matthew Squire has been named as acting captain of the Lost Hills/Malibu Sheriff's Station.