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Report details Marco Island city council's involvement in battery investigation

Posted at 9:12 AM, May 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-01 09:12:58-04

The Collier County Sheriff's Office has released a 30 page report on the battery investigation into former Marco Island City Manager Lee Niblock.

Niblock was fired March 20th, after only 5 months on the job, after the city's own internal investigation revealed he acted inappropriately toward the victim.

4 In Your Corner obtained a copy of the incident report, which indicates Council Chair Jared Grifoni spoke to the victim two weeks before he told Fox 4 he didn't know any details about the incident until that day.

Grifoni told Fox 4 on Monday that he did not know specifics of the allegations at the time his spoke with her.

"Given the information at the time, I took action where the victim was put into a situation where she could pursue it how she saw fit, without any pressure from anyone else."

Grifoni suggested the victim speak with the city attorney  to see how she should proceed. 

Some residents don't buy the explanation

"It gives all the wrong signs to the residents of Marco Island," said Paul Cantwell.

Cantwell believes city officials got involved trying to purposely slow the investigation to spare themselves any embarrassment from having to fire Niblock after only 4 months on the job.

He said councilors owe the public an explanation.

"I'd like them to have a public meeting immediately and have them state what's going, have people ask them questions."

A letter by the Marco Island City Attorney said members of city council did nothing wrong since they did not get all the facts about the allegations until several weeks after the victim made them.