SURFSIDE, FLA. (WSVN) – An officer who was suspended after accusing her commanding officer of harassment has been reinstated.
Surfside officer and lifelong town resident Marianne Howard has her job back after being suspended.
“I’m really happy to be back in uniform serving the community I love,” said Howard.
She was relieved of duty for giving conflicting statements she said she was pressured to make regarding claims against her boss, Police Capt. Antonio Marciante.
“I think that was the hardest thing,” said Howard. “Not seeing the faces that I usually would see, in the morning walking their dogs and always stop and talk. The community has been really amazing, and I miss all of them.”
Howard said he sexually harassed her on the job beginning in 2019.
In May, she told 7News she was made to feel “objectified, violated and humiliated.”
“Kissed me on the neck couple of times,” said Howard in the interview with 7News.
7News asked Howard how that incident made her feel.
“Very uncomfortable, violated,” responded Howard.
Nearly two months after 7News’ story aired, Surfside residents created a Change.org petition calling for her reinstatement.
“That really felt really good,” said Howard.
Last Friday, she was once again an active officer. Many took to social media to congratulate Howard, one citizen posted, “Victory! After reaching 100 signatures… officer Howard is back in uniform…”
But the post also urged her bosses to “lift any reprimand.”
Howard’s lawyer, Ignacio Alvarez, said his client was treated differently than her unpunished boss.
“There’s clearly a double standard,” said Alvarez. “I’m not gonna stop until that written reprimand is removed from her record.”
Also on her record was a 2021 incident, where then Mayor Charles Burkett became quiet friendly on the beach after making a noise complaint.
“Well, I’ve had a crush on you. She’s the best looking police officer we’ve ever had,” said Burkett.
As for the latest harassment claim and her return to work, Howard may have become an officer of the law once again, but she will be working under the same man who she said harassed her for two years.
“Officer Howard is a professional. She’s going to go there, she’s gonna do her job and do it fairly and professionally,” said Alvarez. “My concern is, let’s treat everybody equally.”
The town of Surfside stated Wednesday, “While we understand the interest this story has received, as this is a personnel issue the town will not discuss further. The well-being of all employees remains a top priority…”
Officer Howard has tested positive for COVID-19, so it will be a while until she is back on the streets again.
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