Two Lakeland police sergeants fired - FOX 13 News

Two Lakeland police sergeants fired

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Two Lakeland police sergeants are out of a job after being fired in the wake of a department sex scandal.

"Sergeants Rusty Longaberger and David Woolverton were terminated effective today as a result of the ongoing investigation involving sexual misconduct within the Lakeland Police Department," an LPD press release stated.

Longaberger and Woolverton were two of several LPD members named in a lengthy investigation into sexual allegations at the department by the state attorney's office.

Investigators say, over a seven-year period, at least 10 officers in the police department were engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior -- sometimes while on-duty -- with a female city employee.

That employee, Sue Eberle, later stepped forward to say she was the victim of a "sexually toxic" work environment at the department.

Longaberger, 45, had been with the department for almost 14 years. He was interviewed by investigators last month and admitted that he had a sexual relationship with Eberle in 2012 but denied many of her other claims, including that she had given him oral sex in his unmarked patrol car while on duty. He denied the opportunity to take a polygraph test, the state attorney's office said.

Woolverton, 38, had been with LPD for over 20 years. Eberle told investigators that he forced himself upon in her office twice. During his interview with investigators, Woolverton admitted sexting Eberle but denied having sex with her while on-duty, claiming it was off-duty in the back of his car. He also declined a polygraph offer.

Sgt. Felicia Wilson handed in her resignation rather than being terminated. She has been with the department for 19 years.

Back in March, her authority as an officer was removed after the department got a letter from the State Attorney's Office. It says Wilson mishandled a shooting investigation.

The State Attorney also said Wilson did such a bad job on the witness stand, she would no longer be called as a witness.

In a press conference, Lakeland Police Chief Lisa Womack said more sanctions are coming and could be handed down within the next week or so.

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