Lakeland PD officer caught in sex scandal back at work

Lakeland PD officer caught in sex scandal back at work (Image 1)

One of the Lakeland Police officers who got caught up in last year’s sex scandal was back at work Wednesday night.

City officials and union representatives reached an agreement that allows Sergeant Bryan McNabb to get his badge and gun back.

He can act in the full capacity as a police officer just as he was sworn to do 10 years ago when he was hired by the Lakeland Police Department,” said union president and fellow Lakeland officer Nick Marolda.

Complete coverage:  Lakeland Police Department scandals

McNabb has been on modified duty, basically a desk job, since September when State Attorney Jerry Hill wrote a so-called death letter refusing to accept the veteran officer’s testimony in court. Hill said he believed McNabb was not truthful about allegations of sexual misconduct involving fomer LPD crime analyst Sue Eberle.

McNabb has always denied any inappropriate interactions with Eberle. An internal review of his case resulted in a minimal punishment of counseling and re-training because supervisors said there was no evidence to prove or disprove Eberle’s claims.

Jerry HIll maintained McNabb’s refusal to take a polygraph and turn over his cell phone to investigators was proof of his dishonesty. But in December a Florida Department of Law Enforcement report called Eberle’s truthfulness into question and revealed that McNabb did turn over cell records to state investigators.

According to that report, those records showed no interactions between McNabb and Eberle.

Nick Marolda says that report “solidified what I’ve been saying all along and really locked in that this case was not warranted for a death letter.”

Lakeland Police Chief Lisa Womack says she is confident having McNabb back on the force as a training officer, and she is not concerned about Hill’s continued refusal to accept McNabb’s testimony.

I believe that the appropriate decisions have been made, and if a lawful arrest on a crime has occurred that the appropriate prosecutorial steps will be taken,” Womack said.

Jerry Hill released a statement after the city announced their decision. In it he said, “I find it disheartening that the City has chosen to entrust this man, who has no credibility with my office, with the training of young officers.”

An attorney for Sue Eberle also released a statement.

David Linesch said,To put Sgt. McNabb into a role where he actually trains young cadets, not only potentially exposes the city of Lakeland to additional harm, but further taints the reputation of a once noble department and the city it serves.

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