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Lakeland police chief suspended

LAKELAND — Lakeland's police chief has been placed on administrative leave less than a week after announcing her resignation.

Chief Lisa Womack was planning to stay until May 1, but City Manager Douglas Thomas suspended Womack on Thursday after the State Attorney's Office reported finding potential rules violations in the hiring practices used for a public safety aide position.

According to the Ledger in Lakeland, no criminal charges will be filed after the State Attorney's Office announced results of its three-month investigation into allegations Womack tried to influence the 2012 hiring process involving her nephew.

Assistant Chief Larry Giddens has been named acting chief.

Womack resigned last Friday, two days after losing a no-confidence vote among her employees.

The Lakeland Police Department was plagued the past year by a series of scandals. The department faced a sweeping sexual misconduct investigation, criminal cases fouled by search and reporting procedures, the arrest of an officer on charges he sexually abused and stalked a woman while on duty and a grand jury investigation into problems with Womack and the department's handling of public records.

Lakeland police chief suspended 01/30/14 [Last modified: Thursday, January 30, 2014 9:43pm]
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