Plant City, Florida - Plant City commissioners are requesting an investigation into one of their own amid allegations that he tried to cover-up his friend's, former Police Chief Steven Singletary's extramarital affair.
On Monday night, the commission voted 4-0 to request that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigate allegations of wrongdoing on the part of Commissioner Billy Keel.
"As soon as he gets the letter prepared for me, I will sign it and it will be sent on," said Mayor Mary Thomas Mathis.
Because he is the subject of the investigation, Keel could not participate in the vote, even though he himself requested it.
In a letter sent to City Manager Greg Horwedel, Keel said, "I would also ask that it be noted, for the record, that this request was made by the commission, but was proposed to the commission by me in an attempt to clear my name."
Singletary was relieved of his duties as chief more than two weeks ago after it was learned that he improperly used sick days and abused his power while carrying on an affair with public school teacher Melissa Hardwick.
Hardwick told investigators that Keel, through a friend, urged her not to cooperate with the investigation.
"He wanted me not to speak to anyone," said Hardwick in a taped interview regarding the chief's investigation.
For his part, Keel noted in the letter that request an external investigation into his action that, "I in no way used or attempted to use in any manner, my position as city commissioner of the City of Plant City to intervene in this or any other investigation, not now, and not ever."
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