Lakeland City attorney arrested in undercover sex sting bust announces retirement

Hillsborough County

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office

LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – The Lakeland City Attorney, who was among eight people arrested at a Brandon area hotel Wednesday, has announced he will be retiring effective immediately.

Timothy McCausland, 69, sent Lakeland City Manager Tony Delgado his letter of retirement Thursday evening. The letter was delivered first thing this morning.

Below is a statement released by the City of Lakeland on McCausland’s retirement:

The City of Lakeland has received a letter of retirement from City Attorney Tim McCausland. The letter was delivered first thing this morning, effective immediately.

The City Attorney is an employee of the City Commission and once the City was made aware of the issue involving Mr. McCausland, the Commission asked for options for possible disciplinary procedures.

McCausland was an employee at Lakeland City Hall for 27 years and a city attorney for almost 18 years.

On Wednesday, he was one of eight rounded up at a hotel in Hillsborough County in an attempt to combat human trafficking.

Undercover Hillsborough deputies posted a fake ad on an adult escort site. They say, when McCausland and the others showed up for sex, they instead found a deputy.

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a statement:

“Operations like this help us to not only seek out possible victims of human trafficking, but also find and take criminals off the streets who are hiding in plain sight.”

McCausland is charged with public solicitation.

The people arrested and their charges include:

  • Leslie Benitez, 24: Offering to Commit Prostitution (2nd offense)
  • Lawrence Jones, 34: Soliciting Another to Commit Prostitution
  • Xiaoru Kem, 55: Unlicensed Massage Practice
  • Timothy McCausland, 69: Hillsborough County Ordinance Violation-36-340: Public Solicitation Event
  • Stacy Gonzalez, 38: Offering to Commit Prostitution (Third or subsequent), Warrant: FTA Offering to Commit Prostitution
  • Stacia Wilson, 38: Offering to Commit Prostitution, Possession of a Controlled Substance-Methamphetamine, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Warrant: VOP Grand Theft Motor Vehicle and Burglary of an Unoccupied Dwelling
  • Ashraf Zakher, 48: Soliciting Another to Commit Prostitution
  • Mathew Mamman, 46: Soliciting Another to Commit Prostitution

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