A sex scandal has rattled the Plant City Police Department, and now we're hearing first-hand from the police chief who has been fired, his mistress, and her husband.
The department says Chief Steve Singletary wasn't fired for the affair. He was fired because many of the so-called "hook-ups" came at the expense of taxpayer dollars – something Singletary disagrees with, according to investigation interviews.
The interviews reveal much about the scandal. Singletary's alleged affair has dragged many into the spotlight. Officer Mark Mathis was also fired; investigators said he helped cover up the affair during an incident a couple of years ago.
City Commissioner Billy Keel is also being investigated for allegedly pressuring the woman, Melissa Hardwick. She told investigators she got a call from Keel asking her to stay quiet to protect Singletary's job.
"He was more concerned about that and what the plan was as far as his career was concerned, than the fact that my husband now knows, and it affects our children, and his wife, and all of our families," Hardwick told investigators. "He was only concerned for the plan on his job."
Singletary's termination comes after a two-week investigation. The investigation revealed they were together for more than three years. The city manager, Greg Horwedel, said Singletary often called out sick, used vacation time, or just didn't show up to work.
Horwedel claims it was to facilitate these meetings.
The latest incident happened two weeks ago. Singletary was apparently in Orlando attending an all-expenses paid police chief conference. Investigators allege that Hardwick made the drive, spent hours with him inside his hotel room, and then went to dinner with him.
"Did you engage in a personal relationship with him in the hotel room?" an investigator asks.
"Yes," she responds.
"Did you have sex with him in the hotel room?" the investigator asks.
"Yes," she responds.
In interviews with investigators, Hardwick admits she met Singletary at a city-owned pistol range. She said they met up about 50 times over a three-year period, often while he was on the clock.
Information pull from reports by FOX 13's Alcides Segui.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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