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.