FMPD chief requests feds to investigate alleged officer misconduct

FORT MYERS, Fla. Police Chief Derrick Diggs has asked federal attorneys to investigate alleged misconduct highlighted in a scathing audit of the police department.

Requesting outside investigators was the report’s top recommendation.

“The city is happy to be able to announce that the U.S. Attorney’s Office has received this request to conduct a formal investigation,” City Manager Saeed Kazemi said in a statement released Wednesday evening.  “This knowledge shows our citizens that the city is committed to addressing the findings listed in the Freeh Group’s report.”

The audit, released last month, mentioned instances where officers allegedly leaked search warrant information to drug dealers.

“It does not appear that these matters were ever addressed by the department,” the report said. “Instead, these officers, who were not trusted by other officers, witnesses and outside agencies, were promoted and allowed to serve in positions in which they had the ability to compromise sensitive investigations.”

The report, which consisted of more than 200 interviews with current and former department employees, did not name the officers.

“It was beyond the scope of this engagement to assess the validity of the allegations,” the report said. “However, the fact that the department did not attempt to resolve these issues was a disservice to the department, as well as to the officers who were the subjects of the allegations. It is recommended that the department take immediate steps to re-mediate this issue.”

The request comes two days after Diggs told city council members that he and the department are “embracing this report.”

“The men and women of the Fort Myers Police Department are going to embrace this report,” he said on Monday. “What’s missing from a lot of folks is that many of the officers, good officers, who allowed themselves to be interviewed that came forward and provided the information that ultimately resulted in the report all of you have.”

Diggs made his remarks before city leaders voted unanimously to approve a deputy chief, two lieutenants, additional equipment and an on-call legal adviser, items related to other recommendations made in the report.

This story is the latest in WINK News’ continuing series about the FMPD audit.

Reporter:Kelsey Kushner
KelseyWinkNews