Commander Roni Ritman.
(photo credit: ISRAEL POLICE)
An embattled top police commander suspended as part of a sexual harassment investigation will be allowed to continue in his post, after police said Tuesday he was cleared of criminal wrongdoing.
Asst.-Ch. Roni Ritman, the commander of the elite “Lahav 433” investigative unit was placed on forced leave early in December following a sexual misconduct allegation by a female subordinate.
On Tuesday, the Israel Police put out a statement saying Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich had decided to allow Ritman to return to his post after reviewing the details of the investigation and following meetings with disciplinary officers from the police manpower branch and the police department’s legal counsel.
The decision was also affected by Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein’s decision not to issue an indictment in the case due to “evidentiary issues,” police said.
The police did say, however, that Alsheich would meet with Ritman to reprimand him about statements the officer had made that emerged in the investigation and which police said are not in keeping with the standards expected of a police commander.
The investigation against Ritman saw former commissioner Yochanan Danino undergo questioning because the allegations stem from events that took place five years ago when he headed the organization. The Justice Ministry had said that Danino’s testimony supported some of the allegations made by the complainant in the case.
The allegations were made against Ritman by a single female subordinate who claimed that on three separate occasions he sexually harassed her, including during a social function in which he allegedly kissed her against her will.
Ritman was the latest in a series of top police commanders who have been accused or found guilty of sexual misconduct in the past few years.