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Marco Island officer accused of sex on duty can keep his certification

Marco Island’s city council and city manager used the word “boggled” to describe a state commission’s discipline of one of its former officers who was accused of having sex on duty.

“We called them and we said we really don’t think this is an appropriate punishment for the infractions that occurred,” said Erik Brechnitz, the chairman of the Marco Island city council. “And their answer was just almost unbelievable.”

A second word, “preposterous,” has been used by the council in response to the 60-day suspension and one-year probation officer Neil Giansanti gets. Making matters worse, the council said, Giansanti keeps his license. It allows another law enforcement agency to hire him.

“The explanation was somewhat — prior precedent in similar cases had been if a police officer engaged in this kind of misconduct with someone they already knew it didn’t rise to the level of denying them their license,” said Mike McNees, Marco Island city manager. “Unless it was someone they had come across in their law enforcement duties that they didn’t already know.”

But, to Marco Island’s city council, which unanimously decided to send a letter – sex on duty is sex on duty. Now, Marco Island leaders want the commission to include more people not tied to law enforcement. Right now, of 19, there is one.

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“Any notion that this board is an independent board just seems to me incredible,” Brechnitz said. “I’m flabbergasted.”

The leadership team for Marco Island told WINK News they plan to get the letter to the governor, Ron DeSantis, with the hope he will step in if the state commission does not change its decision.

Reporter:Anika Henanger
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