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Courts / Law

Report Says Lakeland Police Chief Misused Her Position

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Lakeland Police Chief Lisa Womack has been placed on leave after a report by the Polk State Attorney's Office raised allegations that she gave her nephew special treatment for a job. Womack had already offered her resignation effective May 1 in the wake of a no-confidence vote by police department employees.

Lakeland City Manager Douglas Thomas appointed Assistant Chief Larry Giddens as Acting Chief of Police until the findings are investigated.

Here's the post by Thomas:

Late this afternoon I was provided a copy of the Investigative Summary from the State Attorney’s Office regarding their review of the hiring practices used for a 2012 Lakeland Police Department Public Safety Aide position.  The report raises serious allegations against Police Chief Lisa Womack regarding potential violations of Florida Statutes involving Official Misconduct, in addition to alleged deviations from Lakeland Civil Service and Personnel Policies and Procedures.  It is my understanding from a review of the Investigative Summary, that the State Attorney’s Office has closed its review of the matter and is not pursuing any further actions.  In response to the State Attorney’s report, and consistent with City of Lakeland Personnel Policies, I have placed Chief Womack on paid Administrative Leave, pending further review of the report, including appropriate background documentation and statements which may have been used in reaching their findings.  In the interim, I have appointed Assistant Chief Larry Giddens as Acting Chief of Police pending the outcome of the City’s review on the matter. Given that many of the allegations in the report concern administrative City of Lakeland Policies and Procedures, it is appropriate that the City review the matter further to determine if any violations of policies have occurred.  Any subsequent actions if indicated will be taken following the results of that review.