FDLE & Ethics Commission to examine Plant City sex scandal - WFLA News Channel 8

FDLE & Ethics Commission to examine Plant City sex scandal

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Plant City Commissioner Billy Keel Plant City Commissioner Billy Keel
PLANT CITY, FL (WFLA) - The Plant City City Manager fired Chief Steven Singletary last month for violating city policy during an extramarital affair. 
 
Related story:
Plant City Police Chief fired after affair leads to conduct probe

 The woman involved in the affair gave sworn testimony that City Commissioner Billy Keel tried to prevent her from cooperating in the investigation. 
 
Related story: Investigation could lead to fallout

 Now The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the State Ethics Commission will be looking into Commissioner Keel after he requested the two agencies get involved.
 
Related story: Plant City Commissioner wants investigation to clear his name

 Commissioner Keel has ducked cameras and questions for weeks. But he couldn't avoid me as he came to the Plant City Commission meeting on Monday night.

Eight on Your Side wanted to know, did he send a text to a friend of mistress Melissa Hardwick, encouraging Hardwick not to cooperate in the investigation of an affair with, then chief, Steven Singletary. 
 
Related story:
Hillsborough teacher under investigation after admitting affair 

I asked: “Don't you think that the people of Plant City have a right to know what's going on in this thing, if you had anything to do with it?” Keel's answer: “Excuse me. I have no comment. Thank you.”

As he has done so since the scandal broke, Keel would not tell me if he played a role in a cover up.

I asked him: “Did you interfere with the investigation sir?”  His response: “Excuse me. Excuse me.”

Keel isn't talking, but the husband of Melissa Hardwick sure did during sworn testimony.

"Billy Keel contacted Kayla today and basically begged her to get a hold of Melissa through text from Billy to Kayla to not have Melissa give a statement," said Jason Hardwick.

The Mayor of Plant City refused to address the issue. I asked her: “Don't you think the people of Plant City should get an explanation of what's going on here?”  Mayor Mary Thomas Mathis told me, "You know what? I can't speak for Commissioner Keel, but I hope the investigation report will," she said.

The City of Plant City will forward their final report to the FDLE and the Ethics Commission.  They will decide if there was any wrong-doing.

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