Plant City Police Chief Steven Singletary has placed on paid administrative leave as the city manager investigates unspecified allegations, Mayor Mary Thomas Mathis said Monday.
Mathis said she found out about the investigation Friday, but would not go much further into it.
"To be fair to all, you don't want to put information out until you have all of the facts," Mathis said. "If somebody puts something out, it could definitely jeopardize the investigation. So we want to be fair to all parties involved."
Capt. Jerry Stwan has been promoted to Interim Chief during the investigation.
"Our police department is in very capable hands and we are still here to serve and protect you," Mathis said, adding it's hard to tell how long the investigation will take. "It is a very delicate situation but please know, we're working as quickly as possible to get this resolved."
The City Manager was unavailable for comment during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. A FOX 13 News crew stopped by Chief Singletary's house and a woman said they were trespassing and ordered them to leave.
The news came as a surprise to folks in the community.
"We have a good relationship with the police department, so we're all eyes and ears, kind of just wondering what's going on," said William Thomas Jr., a volunteer with the Improvement League of Plant City who helped organize an MLK Day event.
Thomas said Chief Singletary, who has been with the department for 16 years, has had a positive impact during his 14 months holding that position.
"He's worked with us on a couple projects in regards to young people, making sure they make wise choices," he said. "We're really concerned about what's going on and hope that some resolution will come out of it."
Others said the uncertainty and mystery surrounding the investigation is hard to handle.
"It doesn't surprise me but it would make me concerned because this is leaders of our community," said Don Kelley, as he walked through downtown Plant City.
"You can't judge until you know what all the circumstances are, so I guess we'll have to wait and see," Kelley's wife, Betty, added.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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