Steve Singletary (photo courtesy Plant City Police Department)
Plant City, Florida -- A very uncomfortable Steven Singletary shifted his weight while being deposed about his extra-marital affair with Melissa Hardwick.
Hardwick's husband, Jason, blew the whistle, notifying department officials of the affair. And after a two week investigation, Singletary received a notice of termination.
"I want to emphasize Mr. Singletary was not terminated solely for the affair. What was at issue to me was Mr. Singletary's actions as it applied to the code of conduct," said City Manager Greg Horwedel.
It all started when Jason Hardwick became suspicious of his wife when she told him she had planned an overnight trip to help a friend. Hardwick followed his wife to an Orlando hotel and then a restaurant, snapping pictures of her with Singletary, who tried to hide his face.
When deposed, a humiliated Melissa confirmed the affair on city time.
"I also noticed that these are all weekdays, so otherwise these would have been on a normal work day?" asked the investigator.
"Yes," said Hardwick.
When questioned, Singletary was defiant, saying the rendezvous, more than 40 in all, were a private matter.
"Clearly, I made a mistake, but it was in my private life where I made the mistake. We weren't out in public. We weren't out in Plant City doing any of this stuff," said Singletary.
However, independent investigator John Lewis concluded Singletary violated department policy by claiming sick days to meet Hardwick, met on city property, and used a company vehicle to do it.
"The preponderance of evidence led me to believe that yes, in fact, some of those activities occurred on duty or on city property," said Lewis.