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The latest happenings in your city government.


On Tuesday, June 24th City Manager Doug Thomas filed official documents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement stating that former Lakeland Police Chief Lisa Womack left voluntarily in good standing.

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Sniffen & Spellman, PA Final Report Released

The Lakeland City Commission concluded the investigative actions conducted by Sniffen & Spellman, the Tallahasse law firm hired to conduct the review of allegations made by the former HR Director, Tommy Hamrick.  During testimony with the Polk County State Attorney’s Office, Hamrick alleged that City Manager Doug Thomas was aware of improper hiring practices made by former Lakeland Police Chief, Lisa Womack.  The Lakeland City Commission requested an investigation based on the 
allegations. 

 

The report has been concluded and the findings/ recommendations will be discussed by the City Commission at the Monday, May 5th City Commission meeting.


Please find the report submitted to the City Commission by Sniffen & Spellman linked below.

 

Full Report from Sniffen & Spellman, P.A      I      Exhibits 1 - 12


LPD CHIEF WOMACK OFFICIALLY SEPARATES FROM THE CITY OF LAKELAND

 
LAKELAND, FL (February 21, 2014) -- Lakeland City Manager Doug Thomas has announced that Police Chief Lisa Womack and the City of Lakeland have agreed to accelerate her planned separation from the City from May 1, 2014 to February 17, 2014.  Chief Womack previously tendered her resignation on January 24th, with an effective date of May 1, 2014.  That period was intended to give the City time to prepare for her transition from the department as well as for her to provide support to the City on a number of ongoing personnel and other administrative matters involving the Lakeland Police Department.  Womack was placed on paid administrative leave on January 30th following receipt of a report alleging concerns involving various hiring practices of the Police Department. Assistant Chief Larry Giddens was subsequently appointed as Acting Chief of Police.
 
Under the terms of the agreement, Womack will continue to be available to provide support services to the City as needed through May 1, 2014, but she will do so as an independent consultant.  As such, effective February 17th, Womack no longer holds the title of Chief of Police.  As an independent consultant, she will be paid $5,800.00 every two weeks which includes her professional services, associated taxes as an independent contractor and the costs of benefits that she would have otherwise received should she have remained a City employee through May 1, 2014. 

The scope of services Womack will provide are as follows:  
  • Assist in providing information that may be required in support of defense of any administrative matters.
  • Provide advice, support and information in any collective bargaining matters, and/or any other legal or administrative proceedings regarding employee investigations and related disciplinary matters arising out of the Lakeland Police Department during her tenure as Chief of Police.  These services include, but are not limited to:
    • Assistance in preparing requested background materials and briefings for City administration and legal counsel;
    • Participation in discussions concerning labor and legal strategies;
    • Assistance in grievance processing; depositions and providing testimony as may be required.
  • Be available upon request to address departmental operational questions from City personnel as may be needed to assist in the orderly administration of the Lakeland Police Department.
  • Participate in any internal investigations that may require her testimony through May 1, 2014 or beyond, if required. 
In the event that additional administrative support services may required by the City Manager beyond May 1, 2014, Womack has agreed to be available to the extent reasonably possible on an hourly rate.
 
 

 


STATEMENT FROM LAKELAND CITY MANAGER DOUG THOMAS
LAKELAND POLICE DEPARTMENT VOTE OF CONFIDENCE

I have just received the results of the non-binding votes regarding confidence in Chief Lisa Womack by unionized sworn and non-union civilian personnel in the Lakeland Police Department. 

It is important to note that the Chief of Police is not an elected position and the outcome of the voting does not result in her removal from her position as Chief of Police. However, the results of the vote are concerning because it represent the current pulse of both sworn and non-sworn Departmental personnel. 

I plan to meet with the leadership of the various employee groups at the Lakeland Police Department to discuss their feelings and concerns to better understand the particular issues that impacted their individual voting, especially among non-unionized civilian personnel.  I will also be meeting with Chief Womack to discuss her perspectives of tonight’s outcome and how she and the administration at the Lakeland Police Department can best address the concerns regarding the Department. 

The City will also gain further insight on particular issues that may have influenced tonight’s outcome from the employee survey process that is scheduled to be administered in the first quarter of 2014. These steps will help us further evaluate the direction the Department as we continue to work toward addressing employee and public concerns that LPD has faced over the past year. The Lakeland Police Department has a very dedicated staff and we appreciate their hard work and commitment to this community.