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LAKELAND FIRE INSPECTOR DAVID BIVENS RESIGNS IN LIEU OF TERMINATION

LAKELAND FIRE INSPECTOR DAVID BIVENS RESIGNS IN LIEU OF TERMINATION

 

LAKELAND, FL (August 1, 2013) – Fire Inspector, David Bivens resigned today prior to his scheduled Pre-Disciplinary Hearing.  He was recommended for termination based on the Internal Investigation that involves sexual misconduct and a number of policy violations.  The 23 year employee is no longer employed by the City of Lakeland effective today, August 1, 2013.

 

LPD’s Office of Professional Standards (OPS) completed their review of all the relevant facts and evidence presented in the administrative investigation because Bivens possesses Police Standards which requires his investigation to be undertaken pursuant to the Police Officers’ Bill of Rights.  The OPS investigation included statements Bivens made under oath in conjunction with the State Attorney’s related investigation.

 

Based upon the conclusions of the investigation, Bivens Chain of Command and Fire Chief Gary Ballard recommended that he be terminated for the following policy violations:

·         Unethical conduct

·         Conduct off duty that impacts the workplace

·         Willful neglect of performance duties

·         Falsification of employee work records

·         Making false claims of sick leave 

 

Bivens was scheduled for his Pre-Disciplinary Hearing this morning and he submitted his resignation prior to the scheduled time of that hearing.

 

Lakeland Fire Chief Gary Ballard said, “I am very sad and disappointed that any member of our Fire Department would conduct themselves in this manner.  His (Bivens) individual actions should not be viewed in any way, shape or form as representative of the dedicated men and women of Lakeland Fire Department.”  Ballard added, “Conduct such as his will not be tolerated.”

 

Bivens is 48 years old and made $70,937 per year as a Fire Inspector for the Lakeland Fire Department. For more information regarding current investigations and for updates, please visit www.lakelandgov.net.

 

 

City Manager Doug Thomas and Fire Chief Gary Ballard will address the media today at 2:00 p.m. regarding this issue at City Hall in the City Commission Chambers. Lakeland City Hall is located at 228 South Massachusetts Avenue, Lakeland, FL 33801.  Attached is the signed resignation.

 

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Avatar  Citzen of Lakeland 9 months ago

Lakeland Fire Chief Gary Ballard said "Bivens individual actions should not be viewed in any way, shape or form as representative of the dedicated men and women of Lakeland Fire Department.” I do in fact feel that this affects my view of the men and women in such departments in service to the city. While it may not be condoned conduct, it is going on, and in large numbers as we are finally seeing with the LPD commission. It's not just our firefighters, but it's our city police as well.

These departments that are supposed to protect and serve our city, have been under scrutiny by us, the citzens, for decades. Too long have we felt oppressed and mistreated by individuals in these departments that act in a manner outside and above the law, the very law that are swore to uphold and protect. Does this affect my view of these men and women, yes and no. Yes, as I my worst fears have been confirmed (the misconduct and in turn the lack of commitment needed to perform their duties to the fullest extent), and no, as this has been the general view of persons in this position, beneath the facade of "all is well because they are cops/firefighter."