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Former police captain sues college for wrongful firing

Posted at 6:44 PM, Mar 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-06 18:44:48-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. — A former police captain is suing Florida Southwestern College (FSW) after they fired him. He said the college terminated him because he refused to lie for another employee.

Reginald Mitchell worked for FSW’s police department for ten years. According to his lawsuit, things went smoothly until last April.

That’s when he claims a supervisor told him to sign off an employee’s training as updated when it was actually outdated. He said when he didn’t, FSW fired him.

Lianna Hubbard, founding editor for the student paper FSW Compass built a rapport with Mitchell. She said she sensed something was off when he wasn’t on campus anymore.

“We had talked to Mitchell a little bit for Compass stories. We knew him, he knew us. So, we wanted to know why he had gone,” said Hubbard.

So, she interviewed an administrator who gave a very different reason than what Captain Mitchell said happened.

“We figured out that he according to her, had left for personal reasons. She said something along the lines of retiring,” she said.

Mitchell's suit alleges FSW retaliated against him by taking away his authority to discipline and manage his subordinates.

Weeks before he was fired, the suit claims he objected the school’s choice to waste taxpayer money on an employee’s severance package.

The school told Fox 4 they won’t make any comments while the case is going on, but confirmed they put Mitchell on administrative leave in June and terminated him in October.

FSW also said the employee Mitchell said had outdated training, Kim Falk, resigned in September.

Hubbard said all this only leads to more questions.

“We don’t really know which training Ms. Falk allegedly did not do,” she said. “We are not quite sure why the college allegedly acted so aggressively towards Mitchell’s objections.”

Mitchell’s now listed as a safety officer at Flagler College in St. Augustine.