The third-highest ranking officer in the Rhode Island State Police has resigned because he had an inappropriate relationship with a potential candidate for the state police.
State Police Col. Steven O'Donnell said Friday that 45-year-old Lt. Col. Wilfred Hill agreed to accept a demotion to the rank of lieutenant, and step down.
"It was awful, the most difficult thing I've done in 30 years in law enforcement," O'Donnell said.
"The decision avoids a lengthy administrative process. Lt. Col. Hill accepts responsibility for his behavior and his punishment and he did not want to shine a negative light on the Rhode Island State Police."
Hill was a 22-year veteran, and was recently promoted in April. Among Hill's duties was overseeing the state police training academy.
"It was clear from the investigation that Lt. Col. Hill violated numerous division policies and the Rhode Island code of ethics and government. The investigation was discussed with Lt. Hill. Lt. Hill took full responsibility for his inappropriate actions and recognized he had violated the trust of the men and women of the Rhode Island State Police," O'Donnell said.
Hill admitted he had an affair with a 23-year-old woman named Salome Hackney. The relationship ended in March.
What happened over the next few months led both sides to court, each claiming fear of the other.
Hackney filed a restraining order in Providence District Court saying, "…Wilfred's violence against me has escalated. Wilfred has physically harmed me leaving bruises on my body among other injuries."
She told the judge that on one occasion, "(Hill) took his hand, wrapped it around my neck and choked me."
And on another occasion, "Wilfred grabbed my wrists and threw me to the ground."
"The allegations were vetted thoroughly and the woman was not willing to move forward with a prosecution," O'Donnell said.
Records show Hill came to Wakefield District Court on Aug. 7 and filed an application for a restraining order against Hackney.
Hill wrote that Hackney stalked him at home and at work, even tailing him on I-95 on his way home.
He told the judge that "she then followed me in her vehicle playing a dangerous cat and mouse game."
Hill also said his former girlfriend tried to extort him for money, with demands "…ranging from $11,000 to most recently demand that I pay for her college classes."
He also said there was a confrontation outside a Dunkin' Donuts on June 20 that Hill said "resulted in being assaulted by Ms. Hackney in the parking lot…"
Hackney's restraining order is no longer in effect after a judge found the burden of proof wasn't met.
Hill's restraining order against his former girlfriend will remain in effect for the next three years.
NBC 10's Bill Rappleye reported that there won't be a criminal probe against Hill and that the former officer is eligible to receive his pension.
NBC 10's Katie Davis and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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