Florida Police Department Under Investigation For "Extraordinary Amount of Sexual Conduct"

Earlier this week, the Department of Justice slammed City of Miami cops for a string of unjustified shootings. But Miami has new competition for the title of the state's worst police department.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is currently investigating cops in Lakeland for having copious amounts of sex, including boning in the parking lot after a memorial service for a fallen comrade.

"The investigation revealed an extraordinary amount of sexual conduct that was committed both on-duty and off-duty," Polk County state attorney Jerry Hill wrote in a June 25 report. "We find the conduct of a number of sworn officers, including some officers of rank, to be at best a waste of taxpayer dollars. At worst their actions indicate a moral bankruptcy that exists amongst some individuals within the ranks at the Lakeland Police Department."

The investigation centers around a civilian crime analyst, Sue Eberle, who was apparently having sex with nearly a dozen of her co-workers.

"She was a target. She was weak. And they knew that they could take advantage of that, so they preyed upon her," Eberle's attorney, David Linesch, told the Associated Press. "They preyed upon her, and that's what's so sick about it."

Eberle, a married mother of two, allegedly had sex with the cops (and one fireman) in several stations, squad cars, cemeteries, and even in the parking lot after the 2011 funeral of Arnulfo Crispin, a Lakeland cop shot on duty.

Officers pressured her for sex, groped her while working, and texted her photos of their junk, according to Eberle.

In a letter to Lakeland Police Chief Lisa Womack, Hill connected the sex scandal to bigger problems within the department, including unwarranted traffic stops and searches.

"Had these members of your department been more focused on the important responsibilities of law enforcement, rather than pursuing sexual encounters with a civilian analyst, LPD might not be in the condition it is today," he wrote.

Seven cops admitted to having sex with Eberle; three denied it.

Despite the dick picks, prosecutors have decided not to prosecute because of a lack of physical evidence. But the cops are under internal investigation as well as FDLE scrutiny.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes. Follow this journalist on Twitter @MikeMillerMiami.

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael E. Miller was a staff writer at Miami New Times for five years. His work for New Times won many national awards, including back-to-back-to-back Sigma Delta Chi medallions. He now covers local enterprise for the Washington Post.