State attorney: former Lakeland PD chief's claim of extortion 'n - WFLA News Channel 8

State attorney: former Lakeland PD chief's claim of extortion 'nonsense'

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State Attorney Jerry Hill State Attorney Jerry Hill
Former Lakeland Police Chief Lisa Womack. File photo. Former Lakeland Police Chief Lisa Womack. File photo.
LAKELAND, FL (WFLA) -

Former Lakeland Police Chief Lisa Womack fired the first shot, and now State Attorney Jerry Hill is launching his counter-attack.

He calls Womack's allegations that he extorted her resignation pure "nonsense".

"I wasn't surprised," Hill said. "I think that for whatever reason she wants to blame everything that's occurred in her life maybe on someone else.”

Womack, who resigned as Chief in January, sat down exclusively with News Channel 8 to detail her claims. She says the state attorney threatened to indict her on criminal misconduct charges if she didn't quit.

She believes the threatened charges stem from allegations she tried to get her husband's nephew hired at LPD. That is not a crime.

Hill contends the former chief just doesn't get it.

"She seems to think it was going to be over nepotism, but it was an official misconduct charge," he said.

Hill explained his top complaint was that Womack criminally manipulated the hiring process, and he believes he could still charge her with a crime.

"You know the statute of limitations hasn't run on that, but I think it would probably look inappropriate to bring it now, although you get the sense that she's challenging one to do that," Hill said.

Womack said she thought about standing up to what she always thought was an abuse of power by Hill, but she feared the deck was inappropriately stacked against her.

"False charges, even false charges brought, create another fight for me," Womack explained.

Instead, she decided to engage in a new fight. She's now asking the state to open a criminal investigation into Hill's conduct.

The Governor's Office already declined to get involved, but the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is currently reviewing an 8-page letter detailing Womack's request.

Hill said he expects FDLE will also pass on pursuing the matter.

"She thinks she's the victim of some conspiracy, but the reality is she's put herself where she is,” said Hill. “She'll have to work her way out of it. I'm not surprised that she's striking out at anyone that she can.”

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.

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