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Former FMPD Inspector General's complaint centers around cost of proposed new police headquarters

Internal Affairs report released after IG's complaint
Former FMPD IG Donald Oswald
Posted at 7:59 PM, Nov 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-01 19:59:51-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — FOX 4 obtained a copy of the Internal Affairs investigation that eventually lead to the resignation of Fort Myers Police Department Inspector General, Donald Oswald. Oswald, retired, effective October 29, 2021.

The initial memo sent to Police Chief Derrick Diggs dates back to June 24. Oswald filed a complaint against Major William Newhouse for actions stemming from a meeting two weeks prior, on June 10.

In the complaint, Oswald recaps what happened at the June 10 meeting, which was a progress update on the developments of the new headquarters, set for the former News Press building. He says, Lieutenant Roger Valdivia, the department's project manager, informed the small group in this meeting... that the final cost to complete the renovation would almost double the projected cost.

City council had already approved roughly $36 million. The complaint says the lieutenant advised that it would be closer to 75 million dollars.
Oswald wrote, that during that meeting, Major Newhouse directed the lieutenant to keep that information from city council until, "After they spend the 36 million already budgeted and are in too deep to back out."

Oswald followed up with a memo to Chief Diggs in August, calling attention to a breach of protocol. The internal investigation into Major Newhouse was assigned to a direct subordinate to Newhouse.

The final action summary dated October 16, came back "unfounded."

FOX 4 reached out to Fort Myers Police Department and Fort Myers Mayor Anderson's office. Neither have yet to respond.