Former KPD officer filed for early retirement after patronizing prostitute

Ralph Cline, Former Kingsport Police Department Lieutenant (Source: Sullivan County Sheriff's Office)

KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL) – Former Kingsport Police Department Lt. Ralph Cline filed for early retirement benefits the day after an undercover camera caught him patronizing prostitution in his unmarked car while on duty, according a form in his personnel file.

The Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System Application for Service or Early Retirement Benefits is dated November 2, 2017. That’s the same day a KPD spokesperson confirmed Cline resigned after more than 30 years of service.

Sullivan County District Attorney Barry Staubus previously said a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation undercover camera caught Cline with a prostitute on November 1. Cline pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor earlier this month related to the sexual misconduct.

“As a direct result of the findings of this investigation, Ralph Cline is no longer employed by the Kingsport Police Department,” KPD Chief David Quillin said on November 6 in a prepared statement. “The matter has been adjudicated in court and is now considered closed.”

Cline’s resignation comes decades after the police department identified “a pattern of improper conduct” by the former officer, according to disciplinary records. However, details of some of his conduct are not in his file. We’ll reveal what we uncovered Tonight at 5 and 6 on News Channel 11.

Copyright WJHL 2017. All rights reserved.

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