Fruitland Park city manager investigated over sex crime

Published On: Nov 09 2012 01:54:52 PM EST
Updated On: Nov 12 2012 04:43:03 PM EST

The Lake County Sheriff's Office confirms that it is investigating whether a sexual battery was committed by a city employee in Fruitland Park.

FRUITLAND PARK, Fla. -

Fruitland Park city officials are learning of a Lake County Sheriff's Office investigation on Monday into a sexual battery claim against its city manager.

Deputies confirmed on Friday that it is investigating whether a sexual battery was committed City Manager Ralph Bowers, who has been temporarily suspended with pay pending a criminal investigation.

City clerk Diane Gibson Smith said the council voted on Thursday night to suspend Bowers after a city employee went to the police chief on Wednesday accusing Bowers of misconduct.

The chief then called into the Lake County Sheriff's office, which will determine if the battery has been committed.

"I think a lot of people are just shocked by this," Smith said.

Bowers, who has been the manager since 2006, was asked to leave City Hall Thursday morning when he showed up to work.

Local 6 went to Bowers' house on Monday but no one was home.

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