Two weeks after sex scandal ends, another LPD officer under criminal investigation for misconduct

Officer Julio Pagan on paid leave

LAKELAND, Fla. - A Lakeland police officer is on paid-leave as the department investigates a criminal allegation against him.

Officer Julio Pagan, who has been with the department for two years, is now on paid leave while the criminal investigation plays out.

Citing an anonymous source, the Lakeland Ledger reports the allegation is sexual in nature and happened while the officer was on the job.

This new investigation comes just weeks after Chief Lisa Womack finished handing out punishment in the department-wide sex scandal that got national attention.

"It's bad timing. It's a bomb that's dropped on us," said Sgt. Gary Gross, Spokesman for the department. "We have an obligation to make sure we don't have an officer out there doing crazy, nonsense criminal stuff -- and that's exactly what this is."

Gross would not explain the specific allegation, except to call it criminal.

He said it is not related to the well-known sex scandal.

ABC Action News stopped by Pagan's apartment to get his side of the story, but no one came to the door.

Nick Marolda, President of the West Central Florida Benevolent Association, said Tuesday he's aware of the allegation and a lawyer for the union is currently vetting Pagan and going over the case.

Just two weeks ago, Chief Lisa Womack got in front of the LPD advisory board to announce the end to their internal investigation surrounding civilian employee Sue Eberle.

She claimed to have sexual conduct with more than 20 men within LPD and the city -- many of whom lost their jobs, including Eberle herself.

The chief proudly announced new policies and a task force to improve the values and speak-up culture at the department.

It's unclear if this latest incident happened before or after the renewed focus on the moral code.

"Officers are human. They're going to make mistakes," Gross said.

"We certainly don't like that but we are going to address those issues."

The state attorney's office is aware of the situation, but declined to comment Tuesday.

Pagan has a clean disciplinary record except for what they called a "preventable car accident".

Pagan came to LPD in September 2011 from the Bartow Police Department.

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