Lakeland Police Chief Lisa Womack
Lakeland, Florida - Lisa Womack resigned as
Chief of the Lakeland Police Department on Friday afternoon effective May 1, 2014.
"After full and careful consideration, I
have come to the conclusion that it is in the best interest of me and my family
for me to transition out of my position as Chief of Police for the Lakeland
Police Department," said a portion of Chief Womack's resignation letter.
READ: Chief Womack's resignation letter (PDF)
The Lakeland Police Department has been
living under a cloud of scandal since last summer. 10 News has reported on
multiple stories of embarrassing incidents within the agency - including
everything from a bra-shaking traffic stop to a sex scandal amid employees,
allegations of sexual battery and accusations that DUI cases are not handled
Chief Womack has come under fire over those
department scandals, which have resulted in the arrest of one officer, the
firing of at least three, and the discipline of 27 others.
On Wednesday, both the Lakeland Police Department Union and civilian employees took a vote of No Confidence in Chief Womack.
City Manager Douglas Thomas says the chief
was not forced to resign.
"I have continually supported her ability
to manage the department. This was Lisa's request. This is not a termination.
She asked to leave this department to give her a chance to move on with her
personal life," Thomas said.
Commissioner Keith Merritt, who earlier in
the week withdraw his support for the chief and supported her resignation, said
she did the right thing.
"The city had really stagnated in terms of
its ability to move forward through no fault of the city manager and for that
matter the police chief," he said. "We just had to move forward and this seemed
like the way to do it."
Recent Lakeland PD stories: