To: Greg Horwedel-City Manager of the City of Plant City February 7th, 2014
It has been a difficult couple weeks for our community, due to the circumstances surrounding the investigation and termination of our Police Chief. As you know, Steve and I are friends and it was made clear to me early on that this was a noncriminal matter, involving an extra-marital affair. I can assure you that any comments I had on the matter were simply as a concerned friend. My thoughts on this have always been that it was a very personal matter, and one that deserved some privacy. It has had a devastating impact, not just on the individuals involved directly, but their spouses, children, families, friends and coworkers. It has been my hope and belief that they need to be left alone. They need time to heal their personal lives and their families. They need time to put things back together and to move forward again. Out of respect to everyone involved, I have tried my best to stay out of this media frenzy, even though comments have continued to be made about me. I truly believe that is the right thing and proper thing to do, and that the people involved here need to be left alone so they can get their lives back together. I do recognize however, that this has reached a point where I now need to respond. First, let me be very clear, I in no way used or attempted to use in any manner, my position as City Commissioner of the City of Plant City to intervene in this or any other investigation, not now, and not ever. I do, however, recognize that this whole thing puts a cloud over the city, and puts my fellow commissioners in an untenable position to be pressed to take investigative action of some kind against a fellow commissioner. In an effort to solve this dilemma, I would propose the following:
That the commission by way of unanimous vote (could be included in consent agenda) ask the City Manager to send a request to an independent agency like FDLE, or the Ethics Commission, asking that they review the allegations that have been made against me, and make a determination based on the facts and the law. I would also ask that it be noted for the record, that this request was made by the commission, but was proposed to the commission by me in an attempt to clear my name. I believe that the citizens of this community deserve this answer, and I believe I deserve this answer as well. I have spent my entire adult life working for the betterment of this community. I have always done so with honor, pride, and integrity. I will not have that tarnished by these allegations, and I look forward to a day where my name is completely and unequivocally cleared. As always, I will continue to keep the lives of all the people involved in this matter in my thoughts and prayers.
City Commissioner Billy Keel