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Anamosa’s police chief has been fired over allegations of racism and sexism

Ex-Chief Bob Simonson

ANAMOSA, Iowa (AP) — An eastern Iowa city council has fired its police chief who’d been accused of sending emails with racist and sexist comments.

The Anamosa council voted Monday night to fire Chief Bob Simonson after first rejecting his offer to retire. The council plans to appoint a department sergeant to serve as interim chief.

A former officer and Bettendorf native, Amy Ford, sued the city in 2015 for sexual harassment and gender discrimination. She settled it for $750,000.

Among the allegations detailed in a Cedar Rapids Gazette investigation, Simonson admitted during a 2016 deposition to labeling black people as “gangbangers” and “big lipped mother——s.”

Simonson has declined to comment about the allegations. A phone listed for him in Anamosa rang busy during several calls Tuesday. A KCRG report detailed more than a dozen offensive emails and texts Chief Simonson sent in 2015 and 2016. Most are forwarded sexually explicit and racist images and jokes. In one is a joke about bras not showing enough of women’s breasts.

In another email, he forwards a joke making fun of Asian accents and likens a sexual position to a Chinese food menu.

He was hired by the city in May 2010