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Police chief, city officials meet to soothe tensions

Police Chief Ernest "Curt" Curtsinger met with top city officials Friday in yet another attempt to thwart racial tensions in the Police Department.

In addition to Curtsinger, the meeting included Interim City Manager Don McRae, Assistant City Manager Rick Dodge and Assistant Police Chief Goliath Davis. Although Curtsinger and Davis have publicly minimized their disagreements, friction between the two has increased.

"Don McRae, Rick Dodge, Goliath Davis and I met today and have renewed our commitment to work together," Curtsinger said in a statement issued Friday. "That commitment is in the best interest of the Police Department and the city."

This week, media reports revealed that Curtsinger ordered an internal investigation into Davis and two other high-ranking black officers.

Investigators looked into an allegation that Davis knew but did not mention that an applicant for a job with the Pinellas Applicant Screening Service had been accused of sexual battery. The agency screens applicants for jobs in law enforcement.

The second investigation focused onaccusations that Maj. Cedric Gordon harassed his ex-wife and conspired with Davis and Sgt. Al White to paint the chief as a racist after Gordon was refused a promotion in 1990.

Curtsinger, who makes the final ruling in such investigations, determined that the allegations were unfounded.

Davis called the investigations witch hunts. He could not be reached for comment Friday. McRae did not return several phone calls.

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