Fort Pierce Police Chief Diane Hobley-Burney addresses allegations that put her on paid leave

Posted at 11:53 PM, Jul 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-09 17:32:11-04

Fort Pierce Police Chief Diane Hobley-Burney remains on paid administrative leave as an investigation continues into complaints against her from a former Fort Pierce Police Special Investigator.


Those allegations include that she didn’t properly investigate police violations, put the police department at risk for losing its accreditation and intimidated members of the community.


But, after staying silent for several days, there is one allegation she wants to set straight.


Former Fort Pierce Police Special Investigator Murray sent a letter to city leaders also claiming the chief asked him to open criminal investigations into City Commissioner Reggie Sessions and community activist Rick Reed after the deadly officer involved shooting that killed Demarcus Semer.


Both were publicly outspoken about wanting the Department of Justice to get involved in the investigation.


“I want people to know that regardless of the rumors or what they have heard, nothing is farther from the truth that I used Demarcus Semer, that situation, the hurt, the tragedy, to try to go after anyone. That is completely false. That is not true,” Hobley-Burney said.


There are also other rumors and allegations she wanted to address.


“People are saying that I had this individual [Rick Reed] followed, that I opened a case on that individual, and I was really taken back by that because I’m like, what are you talking about?”


“There’s rumors that I went after people because they were protesting. No,” Hobley-Burney said.


Hobley-Burney wouldn’t address any other allegations listed in the letter from Borthland Murray, saying she didn’t want to hurt the integrity of the investigation.


She says she's always had good intentions as the top cop.


“I do want everyone to know that everything that I did, I did it for the Fort Pierce Police Department and the beautiful city of Fort Pierce.”


To ensure a fair and full investigation, Hobley-Burney is also requesting a third-party, independent investigator such as the FBI or FDLE to step in instead of the city.


She also says she has no hard feelings against Murray, saying he is someone she trusted and relied on as a support system.


Hobley-Burney says for now, she is trying not to read the news and stay positive, thinking of the things she has accomplished in the last year.


That includes implementing community roll calls to keep residents informed about the crimes in their area and have a chance to give their input for solutions.


Hobley- Burney helped implement numerous projects to build police relationships with residents.


She wants to assure residents that this investigation will not take away from the Demarcus Semer shooting investigation, nor distract her officers.


“These officers are working extremely hard. I just want our citizens to know that.”






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