Former Punta Gorda police chief files formal complaint against captain

A formal complaint filed by former Punta Gorda Police Chief Tom Lewis, obtained by WINK News, calls for an investigation into Captain Jason Ciaschini. In it Lewis lists more than dozen examples that he says are lies.

In a letter to current Police Chief Pamela Davis, Lewis says Ciaschini was “Intentionally untruthful” in his statements given to FDLE the night Mary Knowlton was killed in a ‘Shoot-Don’t-Shoot’ demonstration with the police department.

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Lewis writes that he’s filing the complaint against Ciaschini for “The criminal offense of perjury, the administrative policy violations of standards of conduct as well as being a poor human being.”

He claims while everyone rushed to her Ciaschini did nothing to help though Ciaschini told investigators he brought witnesses inside.

Lewis disputes that account and in the complaint he says “To cover for his cowardly and inhumane actions, Jason Ciaschini, told FDLE agents, under oath, that he “ushered witnesses back into the building.”

Lewis also claims that the captain lied under oath at his Culpable Negligence trial where he was acquitted.

He cites one example where prosecutors asked Ciaschini on the stand if he considered Lewis a friend and he answered ‘absolutely’.

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Lewis says that’s a lie and that “Captain Jason Ciaschini and I have a commonly-known and well-documented professional dislike for each other.”

FGCU Criminal Law Professor Pam Seay read the complaint and said, “Were there discrepancies, perhaps. Were there issues that probably should be addressed, yes. But, did it rise to the level of perjury… I’m not, I don’t see it.” adding that there’s still serious allegations that FDLE needs to investigate.

Seay says when she sees a complaint like this she has to question why now.

Despite the ongoing investigation in the allegations in this complaint Punta Gorda Police say there has been no change in Captain Ciaschini status with the department.

WINK News reached out to the Punta Gorda Police Department for a response from Ciaschini regarding the allegations and they declined to comment.

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Reporter:Kristi Gross
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