Fired Lakeland police sergeants fight for their jobs back - WFLA News Channel 8

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Fired Lakeland police sergeants fight for their jobs back

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LAKELAND, FL (WFLA) -

A sex scandal cost Sergeants David Woolverton and Rusty Longaberger their jobs and reputations at the Lakeland Police Department, and those terminations are now up for debate.

Both men are accused of forcing a civilian employee Sue Eberle to have sex. They deny these allegations. And they're both now fighting their terminations, requesting to be re-instated to their previous positions with full back pay and full benefits. 
 

Chief Lisa Womack is still reviewing the requests for reinstatement. If she denies them the officers could appeal to Lakeland City Manager Doug Thomas, and if he denies the officers' grievances the pair can still pursue options through the police union which could lead to arbitration.

Just last week Womack told the Mayor's Citizen's Advisory Commission, which was created to find solutions to LPD's on-going scandals, controversies and public relations nightmares, that the agency knew cops would lose their badges over this scandal.
 
"We also have a very specific plan in place to replace these employees that we're losing," Womack said. "It was anticipated as far back as March or April that we were going to lose employees in this process."

What the police department, the city and the mayor may not have anticipated was losing so many of those citizens commission members. A sixth person, Ana Rivera, is now quitting. Rivera told Mayor Gow Fields by phone she could no longer serve on the panel because of her husband's failing health. 

The panel now has nine remaining members which will meet for the second time on Friday August 2. 

Chief Womack says she hopes to have a decision on Woolverton and Longaberger by August 16. 
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