Police union sues city to release redacted audit pages

Reporter: Lauren Sweeney
Published: Updated:
Outside of the City of Fort Myers Police Department. Photo via WINK News.
Outside of the City of Fort Myers Police Department. Photo via WINK News.

The Florida Police Benevolent Association filed suit against the City of Fort Myers demanding the release of documents associated with a 2017 audit into the police department.

The Freeh Group conducted a needs assessment of the agency.

It included appendices that discuss officers leaking information and mention murders, but most of the information on the appendices is redacted.

The day after the audit was made public, Chief Derrick Diggs placed four officers in the department on paid administrative leave. He later called on the Department of Justice to investigate misconduct at the agency.

No one at the police department or city hall will comment on the ongoing investigation or make a direct connection between the federal investigation and the officers. The US Attorney’s office also will not comment or confirm the existence of any investigation.

The police union believes the redacted documents hold the key to what misconduct may be under investigation.

“It’s our stance. Let’s get it out in the open. The PBA is going to take whatever recourse necessary to get this information, to restore these officers, to restore their reputation, their credibility, it’s just not right what’s happening,” said Matt Sellers, president for the Gulf Coast PBA.

The City has not yet filed a response to the lawsuit. In the past, the police department has said the redacted information is exempt as part of an active criminal investigation.

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