Tampa Police Department fires detective - FOX 13 News

Tampa Police Department fires detective

Posted: Updated:
Det. Houston (MyFOX file image) Det. Houston (MyFOX file image)
TAMPA (FOX 13) - The Tampa Police Department fired one its detectives Thursday, FOX 13’s Gloria Gomez reported.

Chief Jane Castor said they terminated Detective Eric Houston’s employment in the wake of a federal investigation.

Castor did not say, though, what Houston did.

“It’s very unusual circumstances in this case, because the confidential provision of the grand jury process mandates that the details of the investigation remain protected until indictment,” Castor said.

She did say, though, that when she learned the details of the allegations, she made the decision to fire Houston.

“It’s clear that Houston’s alleged criminal behavior is so egregious that it’s necessary to take this step immediately,” Castor said.

Castor said the details of the investigation came to her attention on April 3. At that point, Houston was placed on administrative duty. But Castor said he had not been back to work since then.

Houston worked at TPD for 24 years, and spent the last 10 years as a homicide detective.

Castor said there are 19 open cases he helped investigate.

The State Attorney’s office is reviewing those cases now to see what if any impact he had on those investigations.

One investigation Houston was involved with was the Julie Schenecker case, the Tampa mom accused of shooting and killing her two teenage children. But Houston was not the primary detective on that case.

“Most of our cases involve a team of detectives and built-in redundancy in the event an employee is not available during prosecution,” Castor said.

Houston was on three cases as the primary detective. Other detectives are going over those cases and re-interviewing witnesses as necessary, Castor said.

Houston is married to Lajoyce Houston, who was arrested and fired last year amid allegations of grand theft and welfare fraud.

Castor said Eric Houston’s firing was not connected to that investigation.

The State Attorney's Office put out a statement saying they would not release any details surrounding the investigation.

Houston is married to Lajoyce Houston, who was fired last year amid allegations of grand theft and welfare fraud.

Castor said Eric Houston’s firing was not connected to that investigation.



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