For the first time, city leaders speak out about an ongoing controversy at the Fort Myers Police Department. A lieutenant, later promoted to captain, is under investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
A video of a 2013 undercover prostitution sting surfaced, appearing to show Captain Jay Rodriguez engaged in a sex act with an employee of a massage parlor who was later arrested.
City Council did not directly address the investigation at Tuesday’s council meeting, which was the first time they met since the video was revealed.
“It’s in the appropriate hands,” Mayor Randy Henderson said to WINK News. “We expect that it runs its process and that it’s a lawful and fair process.”
But some worry the city knew about this long before last week and did nothing.
“The police chief got a memo, you all got it as well — Gaile and Streets and all you — some time ago, about a year and a half ago, that specifically talked about this sex tape,” said community member, Anthony Thomas, to the council.
It’s a worry backed by a county commissioner, though the county is not involved in this. It’s also a concern of former officer and council newcomer, Kevin Anderson.
“There’s speculation, allegations, whatever, that it wasn’t handled properly,” Anderson said. “If we as the city knew about it back when it occurred, and there was a failure to act, then that concerns me greatly.”
Mayor Henderson denies having any knowledge of the incident until the video was revealed last week.
We asked Henderson if he or any of the city council members were aware of the video before last week. “No, this came out of nowhere,” he said.
In fact, Henderson said, even while five officers, including Jay Rodriguez, remain on paid administrative leave, “The City of Fort Myers and the Fort Myers Police Department is the best that it’s been in recent history.”
Council member Johnny Streets claims he was not aware of the video before last week. Other council members did not respond.
Chief Diggs was in attendance but would not take questions after the meeting.