Lakeland P.D. woes prompt scathing letter - WSPA.com

Lakeland P.D. woes prompt scathing letter

Posted: Updated:
Lakeland City Manager Doug Tomas & Mayor Gow Fields Lakeland City Manager Doug Tomas & Mayor Gow Fields
LAKELAND, FL (WFLA) -

It's a war of words between Polk County State Attorney Jerry Hill and Lakeland city leaders. Hill wrote a 2 1/2 page letter calling Police Chief Lisa Womack, more of a threat than a protector. "If it had just been the Pagan case itself, I doubt we'd be standing here. What Pagan points out is a cultural issue that Lakeland knew about, the city manager knew about it, the chief knew about it and did nothing," Said Jerry Hill. Officer Julio Pagan is charged with two counts of Armed Sexual Battery and is the latest case to rock the department.

The Lakeland city manager and the mayor both say, the comments expressed by Jerry Hill in this letter, are reckless and wrong. "Mr. Hill wants us to use a sledge hammer. I prefer to use a scalpel," said Mayor Gow Fields.

Lakeland city leaders say the state attorney wants to halt investigations before they are finished. "Mr. Hill has erroneously stated that our course of action has been to stonewall, filibuster and with the hopes that the problems will simply go away. That simply has not been the case," said City Manager Doug Thomas.

The mayor says it’s time to let the system work. "While Mr. Hill suggests that due process is not appropriate when it comes to LPD, I would say to you, he is absolutely wrong."

Jerry Hill used a sports analogy, saying if you're not winning games; it's time to do something different. Mayor Fields responded "I understand how Mr. Hill feels, but I am not prepared to fire the coach for doing a good job."

Chief Womack says people tell her often, they support her efforts. She doesn't like Hill's comments about safety at risk. "To suggest that that somehow the things that we are dealing with now puts any of our community in jeopardy is just, it, as the manager said, reckless," she said.

The message from the city: let the investigations finish and then judge the outcome.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Girl, 9, hit by plane on Venice beach dies from injuries

    Girl, 9, hit by plane on Venice beach dies from injuries

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:49 AM EDT2014-07-29 14:49:39 GMT
    Ommy Irizarry with daughter Oceana - Courtesy InstagramOmmy Irizarry with daughter Oceana - Courtesy Instagram
    9-year-old Oceana Irizzary, who was critically injured in the plane crash off Caspersen Beach in Venice on Sunday afternoon, has died.
    9-year-old Oceana Irizzary, who was critically injured in the plane crash off Caspersen Beach in Venice on Sunday afternoon, has died.
  • Florida's Back to School Sales Tax Holiday is Aug. 1-3, 2014

    Florida's Back to School Sales Tax Holiday is Aug. 1-3, 2014

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:46 AM EDT2014-07-29 14:46:28 GMT
    WFLA.com file photoWFLA.com file photo
    Are you ready for the new school year? Florida's annual Back to School Sales Tax Holiday can save you plenty of money. The sale starts at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 1 and ends at midnight on Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014. Here's everything you need to know.
    Are you ready for the new school year? Florida's annual Back to School Sales Tax Holiday can save you plenty of money. The sale starts at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 1 and ends at midnight on Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014. Here's everything you need to know.
  • Sedan crashes with truck, semi on I-4, closes lanes in morning

    Sedan crashes with truck, semi on I-4, closes lanes in morning

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:11 AM EDT2014-07-29 14:11:31 GMT
    A driver lost control of the car changing lanes on Interstate 4 between a box truck and a semi tractor trailer, Florida Highway Patrol troopers said. Multiple lanes were closed on the interstate Tuesday morning after that crash.
    A driver lost control of the car changing lanes on Interstate 4 between a box truck and a semi tractor trailer, Florida Highway Patrol troopers said. Multiple lanes were closed on the interstate Tuesday morning after that crash.
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
  • Top StoriesTop StoriesMore>>

  • 1 Dead In Buncombe County House Fire

    1 Dead In Buncombe County House Fire

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 7:40 AM EDT2014-07-29 11:40:18 GMT
    1 person has died after a house fire in Buncombe County this morning.1 person has died after a house fire in Buncombe County this morning.
    The Asheville Fire Department says that a house fire on Aspen Court in Buncombe County has left 1 dead in the early hours of July 29th.
    The Asheville Fire Department says that a house fire on Aspen Court in Buncombe County has left 1 dead in the early hours of July 29th.
  • Attorney: Deputies Aware Of Several Ongoing Gambling Operations

    Attorney: Deputies Aware Of Several Ongoing Gambling Operations

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 6:47 AM EDT2014-07-29 10:47:53 GMT
    An attorney for a convicted Greenville County gambler says deputies are now aware of several ongoing operations.An attorney for a convicted Greenville County gambler says deputies are now aware of several ongoing operations.
    An attorney for convicted gambler Izzat Khalil said his client has given information to Greenville and Spartanburg County deputies about several ongoing gambling operations in those counties. 
    An attorney for convicted gambler Izzat Khalil said his client has given information to Greenville and Spartanburg County deputies about several ongoing gambling operations in those counties. 
  • Charter Schools Host Information Expo For Education Seekers

    Charter Schools Host Information Expo For Education Seekers

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 4:14 AM EDT2014-07-29 08:14:40 GMT
    Public Charter schools will be hosting an Expo on July 29th from 5:30 pm until 7 pm at the Homewood Suites in Greenville.Public Charter schools will be hosting an Expo on July 29th from 5:30 pm until 7 pm at the Homewood Suites in Greenville.
    Public Charter schools in Greenville will be hosting an information expo on July 29th from 5:30 pm until 7 pm at the Homewood Suites on Carolina Point Parkway.
    Public Charter schools in Greenville will be hosting an information expo on July 29th from 5:30 pm until 7 pm at the Homewood Suites on Carolina Point Parkway.
Powered by WorldNow

250 International Dr.
Spartanburg, S.C. 29303

Telephone: 864.576.7777
Fax: 864.587.5430
Email: webmaster@wspa.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.