Former inspector general for Fort Myers police files whistleblower complaint

Reporter: Sydney Persing
Published: Updated:
Former FMPD Inspector General Donald Oswald (left) and former FMPD Major William Newhouse (right)

The former inspector general for the Fort Myers Police Department has filed a whistleblower complaint against both the city and the police department.

Donald Oswald resigned in October after accusing then Major William Newhouse of making an unethical order to a subordinate.

Oswald alleged Newhouse told a lieutenant not to tell city council about potential cost overruns for the new police headquarters at the corner of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Fowler Street.

Oswald now wants lost wages and repayment of attorney fees in addition to his job back.

In the complaint, Oswald accused the city and the police department of violating Florida’s Whistleblower Act.

He said he was “illegally discharged” from his positions.

Oswald was not fired, but he resigned.

He told WINK News in interviews that he believes Fort Myers police Chief Derrick Diggs forced him out of his position in retaliation.

Oswald has not returned a request for comment.

His complaint against Newhouse sparked an internal affairs investigation.

Two days after Diggs signed off on the results, that Oswald’s allegations were unfounded, the chief ordered a second investigation, but this time into Oswald.

The complaint against Oswald was made by Robert Burandt, Newhouse’s attorney.

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