Womack's future unclear at Lakeland Police Dept. - WFLA News Channel 8

ADVERTISEMENT
Bookmark and Share

Womack's future unclear at Lakeland Police Dept.

Posted: Updated:
Lakeland Police Chief Lisa Womack is on paid administrative leave. Lakeland Police Chief Lisa Womack is on paid administrative leave.

Whether Lisa Womack will continue to lead the Lakeland Police Department is unclear, as an investigation into her hiring practices has her on paid administrative leave.

The decision was announced Thursday by Lakeland's City Manager after the state attorney's office released an investigative summary with what the City Manager Doug Thomas called "serious allegations."

“Under the circumstances it was the only choice I had available to me,” said Thomas.

The move stems from a 2012 hiring situation involving Womack's nephew.

According to the state attorney's investigative summary- Womack threw out a stack of tests for a position in which more than half the class - including her nephew- failed.

Her nephew was never hired at Lakeland Police Department, but the investigation concludes there was criminal misconduct and deviation from Lakeland City Ordinance.

“She's entitled to due process like any other city employee,” Thomas said. “That's the process we used - it puts someone on paid administrative leave until we have the opportunity to review the allegations in particular. We have stood down as the state attorney has done their work. The state attorney has completed or ceased their operations so now it's our turn to pick up the pieces,” Thomas added.

It's a move Lakeland Commissioner Keith Merritt supports.

“I would applaud the city manager,” he said. “I think he would have much preferred to have had a smooth week, as the weeks we've had in the recent past. He had a tight rope to walk and I think did it successfully.”

Thomas has no predictions on whether Womack will be back on the job at LPD again. The city's investigation in this matter starts with reviewing all the information that led to the 20-page summary released by the state attorney pn Thursday.

“We're the ones that are best suited to determine whether violations of city policies and procedures took place as it relates to our own policies and procedures,” Thomas said.

In the meantime, Assistant Chief Larry Giddens is leading the force.

However, a LPD spokesman confirms he is also under a separate investigation into allegations he threatened a retired Lakeland police officer over negative Facebook posts about the department.

It’s more drama to a department that's had their fair-share in recent years.

News Channel 8 spoke with Lakeland Commissioner Phillip Walker on Friday. He said it's time to move on.

Lisa Womack has not issued a statement to the recent move by the city manager. When asked about a statement Friday, the Lakeland PD Spokesman said, “She’s out of the state.”

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Frightened neighbors voice concerns about Pasco mental health ALF

    Frightened neighbors voice concerns about Pasco mental health ALF

    Friday, August 22 2014 6:01 PM EDT2014-08-22 22:01:54 GMT
    In the middle of a New Port Richey subdivision on Langston Ave. white iron gates lead to a large compound surrounded by barbed wire fences. Inside there is a swimming pool, parking lotand several buildings that formerly served as the neighborhood HOA community center.
    In the middle of a New Port Richey subdivision on Langston Ave. white iron gates lead to a large compound surrounded by barbed wire fences. Inside there is a swimming pool, parking lotand several buildings that formerly served as the neighborhood HOA community center.
  • Bradenton apartment complex to be repaired after 8 On Your Side report

    Bradenton apartment complex to be repaired after 8 On Your Side report

    Friday, August 22 2014 4:47 PM EDT2014-08-22 20:47:05 GMT
    Last week, 8 on your side showed you some of the dilapidated conditions inside some units at the Townhouse Park Apartments in Bradenton.Tenants were having problems with mold and rodents.There was also water damage.
    Last week, 8 on your side showed you some of the dilapidated conditions inside some units at the Townhouse Park Apartments in Bradenton.Tenants were having problems with mold and rodents.There was also water damage.
  • 2.2 million bean bag chairs recalled after deaths

    2.2 million bean bag chairs recalled after deaths

    Friday, August 22 2014 11:01 AM EDT2014-08-22 15:01:24 GMT
    About 2.2 million bean bag chairs are being recalled after two children opened them, crawled inside and suffocated to death. CPSC photoAbout 2.2 million bean bag chairs are being recalled after two children opened them, crawled inside and suffocated to death. CPSC photo
    About 2.2 million bean bag chairs are being recalled after two children opened them, crawled inside and suffocated to death.
    About 2.2 million bean bag chairs are being recalled after two children opened them, crawled inside and suffocated to death.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Felon sought in connection with early morning shooting in Winter Haven

    Felon sought in connection with early morning shooting in Winter Haven

    Saturday, August 23 2014 12:24 PM EDT2014-08-23 16:24:48 GMT
    Authorities consider Matthews to be armed and dangerous. Call 9-1-1 immediately if you see him. Authorities consider Matthews to be armed and dangerous. Call 9-1-1 immediately if you see him.
    Investigators with the Polk County Sheriff's Office are on the lookout for a Winter Haven man being sought on armed robbery and attempted murder charges.Brandon Leon Matthews, 29, has an extensive criminal background and is considered armed and dangerous.
    Investigators with the Polk County Sheriff's Office are on the lookout for a Winter Haven man being sought on armed robbery and attempted murder charges.Brandon Leon Matthews, 29, has an extensive criminal background and is considered armed and dangerous.
  • Semi driver could face charges in fiery, fatal Manatee crash

    Semi driver could face charges in fiery, fatal Manatee crash

    Saturday, August 23 2014 11:09 AM EDT2014-08-23 15:09:58 GMT
    One of the vehicles caught fire shortly after the 4 pm crash on Interstate 75 in Ellenton. One of the vehicles caught fire shortly after the 4 pm crash on Interstate 75 in Ellenton.
    One person was killed and two others seriously injured Friday afternoon in a multi-vehicle crash that snarled traffic on Interstate 75 in Manatee and Sarasota counties.The incident occurred just after 4 pm in the northbound lanes just south of the Ellenton exit.
    One person was killed and two others seriously injured Friday afternoon in a multi-vehicle crash that snarled traffic on Interstate 75 in Manatee and Sarasota counties.The incident occurred just after 4 pm in the northbound lanes just south of the Ellenton exit.
  • Wimauma man killed in early morning hit-and-run

    Wimauma man killed in early morning hit-and-run

    Saturday, August 23 2014 9:55 AM EDT2014-08-23 13:55:06 GMT
    Heredia suffered a head injury and was transported to TGH where he died. Heredia suffered a head injury and was transported to TGH where he died.
    Detectives with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office are asking for the public's assistance in locating a driver that fled a fatal hit and run crash Saturday morning.The incident occurred just before 5 am near the intersection of Maggie Dr. and State Road 674 in Wimauma.
    Detectives with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office are asking for the public's assistance in locating a driver that fled a fatal hit and run crash Saturday morning.The incident occurred just before 5 am near the intersection of Maggie Dr. and State Road 674 in Wimauma.
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

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