City leaders want transparency at FMPD amid former captain’s sex accusations

We spoke to Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson and Councilman Kevin Anderson about how they feel Fort Myers Police Department must move forward amid internal issues at the police department.

Recently, prosecutors brought forward evidence against Jay Rodriguez, a former Fort Myers police captain, who is accused of having sex with a prostitute on camera and on duty — made public for everyone to see.

Anderson went as far to say it’s time for FMPD to get in front of the negative headlines and be transparent. If not, leaders like Anderson worry FMPD may never regain public trust from community members.

“It continues to bubble and continues to be a mark against the police department,” said Anderson, a former Fort Myers police officer.

The video that captures Rodriguez during a 2013 undercover sting remains under scrutiny. Anderson said no one at the police department did anything about it.

“I’ve maintained that captain Rodriguez did not do this in the vacuum,” Anderson said. “There are other people who have knowledge and who have participated. So far, we have not seen any reports on that.”

We know FMPD did an internal investigation into Rodriguez two years ago from the prosecutor’s discovery evidence made public this week. FMPD closed it and took no action. The report is not in Rodriguez’s personnel file, and FMPD won’t release it to us.

“What I’m hopeful is the department would get out in front of these issues,” Anderson said. “Don’t wait til they surface. Don’t wait til media knocks on their door. Be out front. Be transparent and take care of these issues. Stay on top of them. Complete them, and show the public you’re on top of them.”

Mayor Henderson shared his own statements with us via text message in response to how he feels the police department should act, and he told us FMPD’s hiring of an inspector general to investigate possible misconduct is a good start at the department.

“The objective was and continues to be to get the truth out,” Henderson said. “And this is exactly what we see coming forward.”

Reporter:Dannielle Garcia
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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