High Springs police lieutenant fired
Published: Saturday, January 23, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 22, 2010 at 11:32 p.m.
A High Springs police lieutenant has been fired for alleged repeated violations of department polices, including inappropriate treatment of employees and untruthfulness, Chief Jim Troiano said Friday.
Lt. Gordon Fulwood has been on suspension since late last year and will have 10 days from Jan. 21 to file a grievance on his termination.
A police union official said a grievance will be filed over the firing.
"I'm very disappointed. I expected a lot from Lt. Fulwood. This has been an ongoing issue. It's not based on one issue but on a totality of offenses and situations," Troiano said. "The bottom line is I cannot allow this type of conduct to continue."
Troiano recommended the firing of Fulwood to High Springs City Manager Jim Drumm, who signed off on it.
Brandon Kutner, president of the North Center Florida chapter of the Police Benevolent Association, said the firing is an attempt by Troiano to rid the department of employees who may have differing views than his.
"His termination was not justified. It was in violation of the lieutenant's due process rights as well as the standards of conduct as far as investigations conducted by Chief Troiano," Kutner said. "(Troiano) cannot work side by side with an individual who may have a difference of opinion, and he will do everything he can to systematically pick those people off."
Troiano cited several instances that led to the decision, including the following allegations:
Fulwood insulted and belittled an officer in front of a group that was about to undergo training.
Fulwood was untruthful in making a statement regarding the termination of a different employee.
Fulwood violated policies against tobacco use in public. Troiano said Fulwood's vehicle was fouled with chewing tobacco residue.
Fulwood berated an Alachua police officer over an allegation involving a relative of Fulwood's.
"I've had complaints from officers about his attitude with them. He has been untruthful to me," Troiano said. "It got to the point that I cannot have someone that is a second in command being allowed to do this."
Fulwood has worked at the department since 1995 and acted as interim chief before Troiano was hired.
Kutner said the union has not received information from employees regarding any inappropriate behavior by Fulwood.
"Nothing has ever come to us requesting that any action be taken or any intervention be taken," Kutner said.