Ethics complaint filed against Naples Mayor Teresa Heitmann

Published: May 19, 2021 5:15 PM EDT
Updated: May 21, 2021 11:27 AM EDT

An ethics complaint filed against the mayor of Naples is alleging corruption at City Hall, including a child prostitution ring, involving high-ranking leaders in Naples and Collier County.

The complaint was written by Brian Dye, the director of technology services for the City of Naples, to the Florida Commission on Ethics with a date of Monday, May 17.

The 7-page complaint alleges that Mayor Teresa Heitmann abused her position and office, directed Dye to break Sunshine Laws and destroy public records and used her position for personal gain.

The complaint includes allegations that Heitmann used city funds to try to hire an external law firm to formulate a legal opinion to sue the former city attorney because she believed her and her friend’s computers had been hacked.

Dye also states that Heitmann ordered him to investigate two officers at the Naples Police Department because she believed she was being surveilled.

Dye also alleges Heitmann used a personal email to communicate city business and on at least one occasion asked him to delete a public record.

Heitmann declined to be interviewed but sent in a statement to WINK News.

“This suspicious complaint is another baseless political attack to sabotage our efforts to clean up the city government of Naples, including overdue changes in the city’s management. I welcome the chance to get all the facts out,” Heitmann said in a statement. “The residents of Naples deserve ethical leadership that is focused on their needs and future — not the interests of a powerful few insiders. That is what I will continue to offer as long as the people desire.”

In his complaint, Dye said he believed Heitmann’s behavior “had passed unethical and had become criminal,” prompting him to make a criminal complaint to the Naples Police Department.

Citing a conflict of interest, the Naples police referred the complaint to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office referred it to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement because through the complaint Sheriff Kevin Rambosk learned Heitmann had accused Rambosk of running a child prostitution ring at the Naples Municipal Airport with former Naples Mayor Bill Barnett.

According to the complaint, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Heitmann’s actions “were not criminal enough to warrant their attention as the most they could prosecute her for was a second-degree misdemeanor.”

They told Dye to take his concerns to the Florida Commission on Ethics.

As for the allegations made against Rambosk, the sheriff said: “The allegations made by Mayor Heitmann against me are untrue, irresponsible, unethical and defamatory. These allegations made by a sitting elected leader are outrageous.”