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Jail Officer Famous For ’98 Salem Hostage Crisis, Retires Over Sexual Harassment Claim

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SALEM (CBS) — The Salem man who became a hero when he saved his twin boys from an armed fugitive during a hostage crisis on live television in 1998, has been accused of sexual harassment.

Capt. Paul Hardy, 48, retired from the Essex County Sheriff’s Department last week when faced with disciplinary action after an internal investigation of sexual harassment claims over the summer.

According to Assistant Superintendent Maurice Pratt, spokesman for Sheriff Frank G. Cousins Jr., Hardy “violated the department’s sexual harassment policy by making inappropriate comments.”

Pratt would not specify what the harassment entailed.

Two other officers, Capt. John Hodgson and Lt. Laura Rowe, were found to have violated the policy “for failing to report the matter,” Pratt said.

Rowe is retiring and Hodgson will take a 30-day unpaid leave, according to Pratt.

During the hostage crisis, Hardy was seen on T.V., pushing his young sons out of their Pope Street home. The masked gunman had robbed a bank in Portsmouth, New Hampshire earlier in the day and had led police on a chase that ended at Hardy’s home.

The ordeal ended when Hardy tackled the bank robber and jumped out a window.

Hardy was later awarded a hero’s medal from then Gov. Paul Cellucci.

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