LPD chief Lisa Womack resigns

LAKELAND, Fla. - Lakeland Police Chief Lisa Womack will resign effective May 1, City Manager Doug Thomas announced at a news conference on Friday.

Thomas said Womack was not fired and that she made the decision on her own.

The news conference comes just two days after the majority of union and non-union members voted "no confidence" in their boss.

At times, Thomas choked up talking about the chief and her achievements over the last three years.

"I'll tell you, many people with less character would have probably faced criticism and walked away at much earlier times and I applaud her ability and her fortitude to be able to stand forward, but I certainly can appreciate that at some point, enough is enough and she's ready to have her personal life back," Thomas told reporters.

He said he does not believe the "no confidence" vote played a role in her decision to resign.

In her resignation letter, Womack made no mention of the countless scandals that rocked the department, but cited personal and family reasons for stepping down.

In her letter of resignation, Womack wrote:

"After full and careful consideration, I have come to the conclusion that it is in the best interest of me and my family for me to transition out of my position of Chief of Police of the Lakeland Police Department. I am very proud of all of the things we, as a department, have been able to accomplish in the three years I have been Chief.

I would like to thank you for the strong support you have shown me and the Police Department during my tenure here. Throughout my career, I have not worked for or with any other City Manager who has shown such integrity and strength of character.

My transition from my position as Chief of Police will be effective May 01, 2014. I will continue to move this department forward with 100% commitment until that time. And, I will assist in any way I can to make my departure as seamless as possible.

Thank you for the honor of being the Chief of Police for the Lakeland Police Department."

The Lakeland Police Department and Chief Womack have been under scrutiny following a sex scandal involving 10 officers and the revelation that an officer asked a woman to shake out her bra during a traffic stop.

The Polk County State Attorney called for Womack's firing last September in a scathing letter to the City Manager.

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