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2 Fort Myers police collected salary on leave since 2017

UPDATE:  Fort Myers city manager Saed Kazemi sent a letter to the US Attorney in Tampa asking for information related to their ongoing investigation into the officers on leave.  Read the letter.

Since February 2017, Officer Jason Jackson and Captain Melvin Perry have been on paid administrative leave.

Jackson and Perry were two of four members of Fort Myers Police Department placed on leave just a day before the department released the Freeh report audit.

Two department sergeants retired after they were placed on leave, but Jackson and Perry are still on leave collecting a salary.

In the years since the report, there has never been an internal affairs investigation conducted or completed into any of the officers placed on leave according to the president of the Gulfcoast Police Benevolent Association investigation.

“I just want to see (Jackson and Perry) brought back,” Matt Sellers said. “I want to see them get their reputation restored.”

The department has paid a total of $337,000 in benefits and pay to Jackson and Perry since placing them on administrative leave.

In October 2017, the father of Jason Jackson urged city council to look into why his son and Capt. Perry were still on leave.

“What did Jason do that was so wrong?” said Henry Jackson.

Sellers said the only insight comes from a heavily redacted amendment to the Freeh report regarding officer misconduct, but too much of the document is blacked out to provide clear answers.

Freeh investigators spent months auditing the department before it was made public in February 2017.

“If what they did was so bad that would warrant this then why weren’t they investigated during the seven months that (Freeh investigators) were there?” Sellers questioned.

A spokesperson for the police department claimed while there is no an internal affairs investigation, there is an “active investigation” into Jackson and Perry, but refused to comment on what type of investigation is being conducted or who is investigating them.

Chief Derrick Diggs asked the federal government to open an investigation into the misconduct allegations surrounding his department in March 2017.

A spokesperson for the US Attorney’s Office said via email:

“As a matter of policy, the Department of Justice does not confirm or deny the existence of an investigation until, or unless and individual or entity is formally charged, federally.  At this time, no federal charges have been filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.”

WINK News was not able to get in touch with Jason Jackson or Melvin Perry for comment.

Reporter:Lauren Sweeney
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