Lakeland Commission Bryan McNabb supports police sergeant fighting to keep his job

Commission wants city manager to talk to SA

LAKELAND, Fla. - The Lakeland City Commission is standing behind a police sergeant who is fighting to keep his job.

The police union president spent the first part of Monday's city commission's meeting explaining why the board shouldn't fire Sgt. Bryan McNabb.

McNabb was connected to the department wide sex scandal that brought down more than 20 officers.

Internal affairs could not prove what crime analyst Sue Eberle claimed -- that McNabb forced her to touch him and he showed her lewd photos of himself.

Despite being cleared in the scandal, State Attorney Jerry Hill sent him what's called a "death letter", a potentially career ending letter that said he will no longer use his testimony because he lied in the investigation.

McNabb declined to take a polygraph and would not hand over his personal phone.

"That's what he's basing his information on: a phone and a polygraph, and uncorroborated evidence," argued Nick Marolda, president of the union that represents Lakeland police officers.

Marolda described McNabb as "not your average cop" to the city commission on Monday, expressing how important it is for the community for him to get back on the streets.

Right now he can't even where the police uniform, let alone investigate cases. If Hill doesn't change his mind about McNabb's testimony, he'll likely lose his job since officers need to be called as witnesses.

"You lose your standards, you're done. You can't be a cop," Marolda said.

One by one, city commissioners stood behind the sergeant. They unanimously agreed to have City Manager Doug Thomas go talk to State Attorney Hill.

"We have a good cop who can't be a good cop," said Commissioner Justin Troller.

"I say we put him back on the streets and throw the ball back in Mr. Hill's court."

McNabb spoke briefly with reporters after the meeting. He believes Hill made a mistake by sending the letter, but said he forgives him.

He's hopeful the city commission can save his job.

"I couldn't be happier," he said. "That's the commission that I expect form Lakeland."

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