I-Team: Sue Eberle, woman at center of Lakeland Police Department sex scandal, terminated

LAKELAND - Sue Eberle, the woman at the center of the sex scandal that rocked the Lakeland Police department, has been fired.

The woman at the center of the Lakeland Police sex scandal was terminated from her job Wednesday as the department wraps up its investigation into lies and deceit that led to more than 20 people being disciplined or forced to leave their jobs.

Lakeland Police Crime Analyst Sue Eberle, who claimed to have had sexual contact with 20 officers and city employees, became one of 20 employees to be fired, resign, retire or face other disciplinary action.

She was terminated from her position Wednesday.

The investigation began when Sgt. Jeff Gary reported catching Eberle and former Sgt. Steve Sherman engaged in a mid-day encounter at Without Walls church in Lakeland last September.

The investigation that followed filled thousands of pages and included dozens of interviews.

"This is an embarrassment for the Lakeland Police Department. And those that have chosen to embarrass the Lakeland Police Department have and will be held appropriately accountable," Police Chief Lisa Womack said.

One officer disciplined Wednesday was Sgt. Brian Mcnabb.

State attorney's office investigators characterized Mcnabb as untruthful in response to their investigation and indicated he refused to take a polygraph test.

They said female employees called him "Mcnasty".

Mcnabb will undergo mandatory counseling for violating policy.

Investigators could not verify Eberle's claims he sent her a picture of his genitals.

 "I've never sent a picture that I can remember to any female or male at the department," Mcnabb said. When asked if he'd received any, he said, "I don't believe so."

Two LPD employees who have not yet been disciplined are former LPD Sex Crimes Detective Loretta Jackson, who Eberle told years ago that she had been raped by a sergeant.

" I said well, you know, what do you want me to do?" Jackson said when she spoke to Abc Action News I-team reporter Adam Walser.

"…she (eberle)said ‘I want you to talk to him' and I said, ‘you want me to talk to him?' I said, ‘well how, what, you know, what do you want me to say?' And she said ‘I just want you to ask him why he would do that.' I said, ‘well, Sue, you don't realize, you know, he's a sergeant. I can't just go to a sergeant and say you know, ‘why did you do that?'" Jackson said.  

Eberle said she also reported the rape to victim advocate Jackie Suggs.

The I-team has learned both Jackson and Suggs are currently under investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for possible crimes.

That FDLE investigation is expected to be wrapped up in the coming weeks, as is a separate investigation into the so-called "bra shake" incident that occurred during an LPD traffic stop earlier this summer. The FBI is currently reviewing that case.

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