LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- Lee County Sheriff’s Office terminating long term employees within the department without any notice.
Five employees were laid off through a letter placed on their desk June 20th. Lee county sheriff’s office’s reasoning ‘reduction in force’ due to budgeting.
“Effective August 1, 2019 your position as an executive administration assistant is being eliminated,” said Terri Taylor, former LCSO Employee.
Terri Taylor held this position at LCSO under former Sheriff Mike Scott for 14 years but once Sheriff Carmine Marceno was appointed, “it was evident right away that things were changing.”
Taylor says her duties such as keeping the Sheriff’s calendar and certifications the Sheriff needs to obtain were shifted to Attorney John Holloway.
“I think I was kind of a left-over from Mike Scott we are going to do it our way now, so let’s get rid of the position,” said Taylor.
According to the memo, it states the department has undergone an evaluation to improve policies, practices, and efficiencies. The sheriff’s office was forced to absorb additional expenses and obligations such as requiring additional SRO’s in schools, which led to the ‘Reduction in Force.’
The five that received this letter were given three options, “apply for open positions within LCSO, resign from employment from LCSO, or retire through FRS system, ” said Taylor.
In Taylor’s 28 years working at LCSO she’s never seen anyone laid off in this manner.
“I was in shock, I took it home and had to let it sink in, you know, took a week to think about it and think about what happened and how dirty it all was,” said Taylor
Taylor chose retirement, but because she was a year and a half short of her 30 years with LCSO, it reduces her pension by $750 a month.
Taylor says her and Sheriff Marceno had a great relationship, “I knew a lot about his personal life, he would come to me for advice, we talk about different situations.”
And she's worried about the future of the department.
“This was my fourth sheriff, the place has always been great, it’s always been a family atmosphere, it’s no longer like that, and from all of my friends and people that have reached out to me, the place is scared, everyone is scared, no one wants to talk, they are afraid of losing their job, and what’s going to happen to them,” said Taylor
Fox 4 reached out to LCSO for a comment on the lay-offs and have yet to receive a response.