CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Legal experts say a former Charleston Police Officer may have missed her window to sue the City of Charleston for alleged sexual misconduct by former Chief Tyke Hunt.

According to attorney Dante’ diTrapano, the statute of limitations for civil suits of this nature would last two years after the alleged misconduct took place.

Chelsea McCoy filed a complaint with the City of Charleston on Monday night, alleging that she was pressured into having sex by then-Sergeant Tyke Hunt during her application process. She also alleges that she failed her polygraph test to be certified into the police force, but Hunt passed her anyway.

Jennifer Harless filed the first complaint, prompting an investigation by the West Virginia State Police. She is not a city employee, but alleges that she and Hunt had a consensual sexual relationship, and that Hunt launched an FBI investigation into her.

Di’Trapano says it is crucial for people to report alleged misconduct in the workplace as soon as it happens so proper legal action can be taken.

“The courageous women can go forward and report it, then not suffer the consequences of what might happen if they don’t,” Di’Trapano said. “You have a lady that maybe didn’t bring it up fast enough and the time’s run for her.”

City Councilwoman Beth Kerns proposed a resolution two weeks ago for an outside party to investigate Harless’ complaint, which died in council by a 21-5 vote. She says that she doesn’t believe McCoy’s allegations will be the last.

“I think it gave Chelsea the courage when Jenny came out, and knowing there were people supporting what was right,” Kerns said. “I’m sure there’s going to be more. These can’t be the only two. But people are afraid. Once they start coming out, I think it’s going to be overwhelming.”

She adds that if any of the allegations are true, that Hunt should never serve for the City of Charleston Police Department ever again.

“Who else has he doctored polygraph results for? Has it been other officers? Has it been other criminals? Has he exchanged favors for favorable results on a polygraph?” Kerns said. “How far reaching is this going to go? It’s very concerning, and bigger than just an extra marital affair. These were not affairs. This was abuse of power.”  

Hunt is currently on medical leave but is expected to return as a lieutenant after he recovers from surgery.

13 News reached out to the mayor’s office to see if that is still the case pending the results of both investigations, but they could not comment, citing both investigations are still active.