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Crime & Courts

Decision expected next week on suspended Plant City police chief

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Published:   |   Updated: January 24, 2014 at 10:03 PM

PLANT CITY — City Manager Greg Horwedel says he plans to announce his decision early next week on the future of suspended Police Chief Steve Singletary.

An investigation into allegations against the chief was wrapping up Friday, and Horwedel said he wanted to ponder his options this weekend. Horwedel would not disclose the nature of the complaints, except to say they were brought to the city’s attention by a private citizen and involve “serious violations of city policy.”

Horwedel has declined to release details about the complaints since the 45-year-old chief was suspended with pay from his $85,000 a year job on Jan 17.

Horwedel said he realizes there is much public interest in the matter but that he has an obligation to ensure a fair investigation by withholding the details. Horwedel added that he brought in an impartial person — retired Sarasota Police Chief John Lewis — to help with the investigation. Lewis, the city manager said, has no ties to the Plant City Police Department.

About a half-dozen residents and business owners have sent emails to Horwedel asking him to take into account Singletary’s service to the city. An email from Aaron Davis says, in part, “I don’t know Steve that well, but do think he is a good leader and loves his job and this city.”

Singletary, an Air Force veteran, has worked as a Plant City officer for 16 years, rising through the ranks to become chief in April. His performance evaluations largely portray him as a stellar employee.

Singletary took the place of longtime Police Chief Bill McDaniel, who now is assistant city manager and helped conduct the investigation.

Twitter: @dnicholsonTrib

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