Investigation into fired Plant City Police Chief could lead to f - WFLA News Channel 8

Investigation into fired Plant City Police Chief could lead to fallout

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Plant City Police Chief Steven Singletary was fired after it was learned he violated city policy during a three-year extramarital affair. Plant City Police Chief Steven Singletary was fired after it was learned he violated city policy during a three-year extramarital affair.
PLANT CITY, FL (WFLA) -

There may be more fallout from the investigation of former Plant City Police Chief Steven Singletary.

Singletary was fired after it was learned he violated city policy during a three-year extramarital affair.

During the investigation, the woman who Singletary was having an affair with gave sworn testimony about her relationship. Melissa Hardwick told investigators she was in a three-year relationship with Singletary. She also told the investigators Plant City Commissioner Billy Keel tried to prevent her from cooperating.

Hardwick says Keel sent text messages to a friend of hers to encourage her not to speak to investigators about her relationship.

Dr. Scott Paine is an Associate Professor at the University of Tampa and a former member of the Tampa City Council. He now teaches political science courses and says Keel should not have become involved in the investigation.

"Certainly it raises serious ethical concerns because if there is an investigation underway and there is a witness who should be participating, the investigation is being done properly, the investigation should go forward," said Paine.

Plant City Mayor Mary Mathis says the City Manager’s Office has been communicating with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement about the investigation.

Mathis says the city manager will now forward all documents related to the investigation to the F.D.L.E. and it will be up to that agency to determine if an investigation of Keel's actions is necessary.

Dr. Paine says it will be a tough case for law enforcement to make.

"At best, it would be a very difficult case to make, because it's someone said they got a text, showed the text, somebody else could have even had the phone," said Paine.

Still Paine says it doesn't look good.

"For a city councilman to get involved in that and deter someone from participating in a legitimate investigation, certainly is not consistent with good ethical practice," said Paine


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