Published: Jul 11, 2014 5:39 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 11, 2014 6:33 PM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Lee commissioner Cecil Pendergrass is stepping into the situation surrounding Animal Services. He says he will receive all reports of abuse, neglect and hoarding, and handle the release of that information to the public.

This follows claims from some people that Lee county administrators had put a "gag order" on release of some reports, because they made the county look bad. County administration strongly denies any such 'gag order.'

"I just want to make sure the information gets out. First, it's education, so that people can know what abuse and neglect look like in their neighborhood.  Then, I want to re-assure the taxpayers that animal services is doing a good job, protecting the animals and the public," says Pendergrass.

In recent days, Lee county has fired the animal services director and the top enforcement officer.

B.J. Gerald, a long-time volunteer at animal services, tells WINK News, she is pleased by what Pendergrass is doing.

"It's good, I applaud that, because we need to get the reports out to the public, and I fear that  the censorship that is going on, will prevent that," says Gerald.

WINK News asked Lee county government repeatedly, if a "gag order" existed.  A spokeswoman denied it.