FORT PIERCE, Fla.
Fort Pierce Police Chief Diane Hobley-Burney says she wants a third party to investigate the allegations that have led to her being put on paid administrative leave.
Fort Pierce City Manager Nick Mimms put Hobley-Burney on paid leave Tuesday after a letter was sent to the city from a former Fort Pierce Special Investigator who worked for Hobley-Burney.
The letter detailed multiple allegations against the chief, some of which include accusing her of intimidation, ignoring police violations and putting the department at risk for losing its accreditation.
An allegation stirring up more controversy is a claim that Hobley-Burney tried to initiate criminal investigations into City Commissioner Reggie Sessions and community activist Rick Reed following the Demarcus Semer deadly officer involved shooting. Both were publicly vocal about wanting the Department of Justice to get involved with that investigation.
“When I first found out about it I must say I was disappointed. I was hurt. I was embarrassed,” Hobley- Burney said.
Hobley-Burney says there is much more to the story that she feels will only come to light if an outside party investigates the allegations, not the city, citing a mistrust in the city.
“It seems that I’m being judged. I am being accused before the investigation has ever taken place,” Hobley-Burney said.
She says she would welcome the FBI, FDLE or U.S Attorney to step in, “anyone other than the city of Fort Pierce.”
She also hopes moving forward to rebuild the relationship and level of trust between the department and city leaders to keep the city making forward progress.
“The police department and the officials at city hall, we all have to be on the same page. We all have to be working together for the improvement,” Hobley-Burney said.
Hobley-Burney says she has confidence in Chief Deputy Kenny Norris to lead the police department while she is indefinitely on paid leave.