Crime & Courts
Three more quit Lakeland police advisory commission
LAKELAND - Three more community leaders have resigned from a commission established to help the troubled Lakeland Police Department. Anne Kerr, president of Florida Southern College, Kent Ingle, president of Southeastern University, and Elaine Thompson, chief executive officer of Lakeland Regional Health Systems and Lakeland Regional Medical Center, have left the Lakeland Police Advisory Commission. The co-chairs of the commission resigned Monday, days before the group's first schedule meeting Thursday afternoon. Joe P. Ruthven and Polk State College President Eileen Holden were appointed July 12 to lead the group by Mayor Gow Fields. Fields formed the committee after reports of sexual misconduct were made public last month in a State Attorney's Office report. The report contained allegations of dozens of consensual and multiple forced sexual encounters involving more than 20 officers and city workers.In addition, State Attorney Jerry Hill has sent several critical letters to Police Chief Lisa Womack, including one for a widely publicized "bra-shaking" traffic stop search and another involving the sex-scandal debacle. Three officers resigned before they were fired for their part in the scandal. Two others were fired and have said they will appeal Womack's decision to fire them. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has been investigating the sexual misconduct allegations.
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