Tag Archives: news-press

FMPD Sergeant Fired for Lying: More Details Emerge

The News-Press published a thorough article detailing the latest corruption concerns at the Fort Myers Police Department. Former FMPD Sergeant Eric Gutridge was fired last week, having been suspended since February. He was fired for lying on official documents and lying under oath during court proceedings. Although lying in court proceedings is perjury, and giving false information in a police report is also a crime, there are no indications that charges are being considered. Gutridge was also accused of planting evidence, but there was not enough evidence to prove that allegation. Gutridge reported, and reiterated, that the 911 caller in a case was unknown, when in fact it was a confidential informant he had worked with before, and approached him for financial compensation for sending the tip.

The city has not released information about other officers that were suspended earlier this year in light of discoveries made by the Freeh group in their review of FMPD. The News-Press and several criminal defendants have been trying to get the City to release additional information regarding police corruption, and the city has spent thousands of dollars on outside attorneys to fight the release of the appendixes of the Freeh Report. The city also appeared in the criminal case to fight the release of the additional pages, and the court has not yet ruled on that. The city may end up being on the hook for a lot more money, as the suspect in the case that led to the Gutridge firing was held incarcerated for about a year and a half before the US attorney’s office dropped the case, and to their credit, reported his misdeeds to city authorities. This comes on the heels of another FMPD officer Detective Donald Weathers, being fired for lying and misusing informants. And there may be residual effects as attorneys review their files and look at other cases in which Weathers and Gutridge may have handled.


More on the Nate Allen / FMPD Fiasco

The News-Press has additional info up in their continuing online coverage, including raw video from the press conference, and a transcript of FMPD’s interview with Mr. Allen. I am disheartened that the time log shows that Mr. Allen was not interviewed by a Detective on the case until 9:30 p.m. that night. By then, he had been sitting in police custody since around 5:00 p.m. Not only did the FMPD use an unduly suggestive show up to falsely implicate him… they did not bother to even get his side of the story for more than four┬áhours. Also, NBC-2 has some of the surveillance footage related to the event, and interviewed Allen’s friend that he had met with. It sounds like the police didn’t get around to interview her for three days after the incident (possibly only after the State Attorney’s office made their request for follow-up investigation.)

The poor guy, he did not even know why he had been detained until several pages into the interview when the detective told him. And she had already made her mind up, asking him questions under the assumption he had done it, telling him that multiple people had identified him. Check it out, it is kind of sad, in light of the fact that we know Mr. Allen to be completely innocent.