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Longboat Key Fri Feb 26, 2010 5 years ago

Town manager upholds officer firing

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by: Kurt Schultheis Managing Editor

Town Manager Bruce St. Denis has upheld Longboat Key Police Chief Al Hogle’s firing of former police officer Jessica Anderson.

In an appeal hearing Dec. 8, Anderson and Southwest Police Benevolent Association Attorney Michael Krohn argued the firing was unjust when compared to actions committed by other officers.

Hogle fired Anderson Oct. 21 after he determined Anderson took away the rights of a Longboat Key citizen for what was not deemed a legitimate arrest.

Anderson awakened Key resident James Andrew Menendez on June 14, 2009, and told him to move his vehicle from the median even though the vehicle was not creating a traffic hazard. Anderson did not give the man an opportunity to produce his driver’s license or move the vehicle before arresting him for resisting, obstructing and failure to obey a lawful command.

Wrote St. Denis in his decision: “Based on all of the foregoing, the chief of police/town has proven by a preponderance of the evidence that just cause existed for Anderson’s termination.”

Now that Hogle’s firing has been deemed justified by the town manager, Anderson only can appeal the decision in court.

Contact Kurt Schultheis at kschultheis@yourobserver.com.

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