Naples city councilwoman questions handing of internal affairs investigation
NAPLES - City of Naples Councilwoman Teresa Heitmann is afraid laws were broken during the handling of a complaint against police Chief Tom Weschler.
"Appropriate procedures were not followed," said Heitmann. "What I thought when I was looking through this once I requested the information in public records is that the city manager had actually intervened in an internal affairs investigation.”
The issue steams from a June 5th incident in which a man by the name of Henry Kennedy who accused Chief Weschler of attempting to obstruct a public records request, tried to intimidate him with his badge and gun and conduct unbecoming of a Naples police officer.
In a statement submitted to the Naples Police Department Internal Affairs division, Kennedy claims the chief approached him outside city hall and began to question him about an anonymous public records request in an "unfriendly tone."
The complaint goes on to say the chief asked him again if he (Kennedy) was the person who requested an anonymous public records request pertaining to the police department. Kennedy claims that he told the chief not and that Weschler attempted to "intimidate me with his badge and gun."
According to the document Kennedy sign, which Fox 4 obtained through a public records request, and the Internal Affairs Unit would make contact in 5 business days to get a sworn statement, but Kennedy claims that never happened.
Instead, the complaint was turned over to city manager Bill Moss who found the complaint unfounded, which concerns Councilwoman Heitmann who suspects procedures were not followed.
"My duty as an elected official that if a constituents comes to be and brings something to my attention and there is validity that I have to do some investigating."
In her quest to find out why the complaint was not handled by Internal Affairs, Heitmann requested on the record information from Moss about the review process, but says she cannot get one.
Fox 4 went to Moss’ office today to discuss the issue but he asked that we call him back tomorrow to set up an appointment.
"We have a city manager review that will be coming up this week it's just one of my concerns with his management."
According to the City of Naples Police Department procedures dealing with Internal Affairs issues, the chief may assign investigations to personnel from other divisions.
In Your Corner reached out to the Naples Police Department to request an interview with the chief, but have yet to hear back.