CITY OF LAKELAND ENTERS INTO AGREEMENT WITH DAVID WOOLVERTON
LAKELAND, FL (September 28, 2015) - An agreement has been entered into between the City of Lakeland, David Woolverton and the West Central Florida Police Benevolent Association (PBA).
Interim City Manager Tony Delgado said, “There were two main issues considered in the unique situation involving Officer Woolverton and his right to work as a sworn member of the Lakeland Police Department. One was the standing position of the State Attorney’s Office with regard to the “death letter” that outlines that the State Attorney’s office will not take testimony from Woolverton. This is a very important consideration that has to be factored into any decision.” He added, “The other was the direction given by the arbitrator to return Officer Woolverton to full capacity as a police officer. These two directives were in conflict with one another, so a settlement was negotiated that was a result of compromises on both sides of the table.” The City of Lakeland and the PBA both made concessions to their original positions that allowed for an agreement to be reached.
To avoid continuing litigation between the parties, the City of Lakeland will continue to employ Woolverton as a sworn Police Officer with the Lakeland Police Department. The City will pay Woolverton back pay with interest for lost opportunities to work extra duty details in the amount of $9,688.76. As a result of a 2013 decision by the State Attorney to not use Woolverton as a witness, Woolverton will remain in the position of Special Operations-Equipment Operator and will not seek transfer from this position for the remainder of his employment with the City of Lakeland.
As long as the July 2013 letter from the State Attorney remains in effect, Woolverton will not apply for or participate in any overtime detail that would require him to use his official police authority. He will not participate in routine traffic enforcement activities that may require official police documents and Woolverton will not participate in any special assignments including but not limited to the SWAT team that may require him to use his official police authority. The agreement also provides Woolverton with a police uniform and outlines that that he will receive the same treatment as any other member of the Lakeland Police Department and afforded the same rights of a police officer. The signed agreement is attached.
Police Chief Larry Giddens said, “I have heard it said that a when a good compromise is reached both parties walk away from the table a little disappointed. I believe that is the case here and we have reached a good compromise. We will now be able to put this situation behind us and move forward. Thank you to all for the hard work and dedication to this case on both sides of the table.”