Lakeland Mayor Howard Wiggs reacts to newest developments around the scandals at the Lakeland Police Department that have landed Chief Lisa Womack on administrative leave.
Lakeland, Florida - An outspoken critic of Lakeland Mayor Police Chief Lisa Womack is reacting to the latest developments out of the department.
"We knew there was some things going on," said Mayor Howard Wiggs.
He is responding to two issues: the State Attorney's report that showed she tried to get her nephew a job even though he wasn't qualified, and a retired Lakeland Police Officer who said he was threatened by the new interim chief.
STORY: Lakeland Police chief placed on administrative leave
STORY: Interim Lakeland Police chief also under investigation
Jimmy Mock said interim Chief Larry Giddens threatened to remove his status as a retiree in good standing, if he did not stop posting Lakeland Ledger articles that were critical of the LPD on his Facebook page.
As a former law enforcement officer who said he's never had a complaint on file during his 20 plus years with the department, it meant he would be barred from attending the annual retiree dinner and would not be allowed to attend a firearms qualifications event held at the same time.
"It's almost like they traded one bad apple for another," said Mock when reacting to Gidden's being named interim chief.
On Friday, a State Attorney's Office investigation found that the chief used her position to get her nephew a job.
"She stood in my office, raised her finger - pointed at me and used the term 'fix it', and she walked out," according to an audio recording interview of Captain Victor White.
He said that the chief wanted test scores required for the position invalidated.
In that same recording, the interview can be heard asking, "Is that a problem?"...to which White replies, "My understanding is that's its illegal. It certainly is improper."
Womack was placed on administrative leave because of the investigation.
The chief resigned from her position effective May 1st, but it's unclear if she will return to her post before that time.
Mock is scheduled to meet with internal affairs about the alleged threat from Gidden.
Recent Lakeland PD stories:
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