New report on firing of Crestview Police Chief
New details have just been released on the investigation into the Crestview Police Department.
The report follows the firing of former Police Chief Tony Taylor in June.
The report was compiled by Crestview Mayor David Cadle. It paints a picture of low morale, favoritism, and a chief who had little faith in his command staff.
Cadle interviewed dozens of employees for the report.
One sergeant reported witnessing officers, who were married to other people, kissing each other.
There were concerns about officers working excessive overtime due to a manpower shortage.
And several commanders say Chief Taylor blamed others for problems; would fly off the handle when his decisions were questioned; and denied there was a morale problem.
But Cadle says a secret meeting was particularly disturbing. Cadle said, "They had some private meetings going on. Some of our vehicles were meeting out of our jurisdiction, for reasons that are not approved."
One meeting, at a pond on Eglin Air Force property in Walton County, was supposed to be for K-9 training. Cadle says the meeting took place even though he had forbidden it.
"That's not what we stand for. And when it came to me the next morning after that , that the meeting was held, that was probably the tipping point for me."
Cadle believes the chief was aware of the meeting. He says, "There were things that were said in text messages between the officers that indicate they had talked to him. However I have no way of proving that."
Two of the six officers who attended the meeting reported it to the mayor. They claim the meeting was held to "dig up dirt" on a member of the command staff.
Crestview's Interim Police Chief, Jamie Grant, says, "They put their career on the line for this. not knowing if it would be a positive or negative impact on them."
Mayor Cadle agrees, saying, "They are sort of heroes in my book, and they are very much admired by our other officers."
Taylor's attorney told Channel Three News ;late Wednesday afternoon that the information Mayor Cadle released is inaccurate.
The attorney says the release is now the subject of an internal affairs investigation and believes it's a criminal act.
She says it has been referred to the State Attorney's office for a criminal investigation.
The State Attorney's office confirms they have received that complaint.