FRUITLAND PARK, Fla. - The fallout continues over accusations that two former Fruitland Park officers are Klu Klux Klan members.
George Hunnewell and David Borst were revealed as members by the FBI.
Borst resigned and Hunnewell was fired last week after the allegations surfaced
But Hunnewell and his ex-wife, who also worked for the department, said they were just working undercover.
Intelligence given to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement claims Hunnewell’s ex-wife was also a member.
The current and former chief swear Hunnewell and his ex-wife were never ordered to infiltrate the KKK.
The current chief gave Channel 9 a transcript Wednesday from testimony given on Friday, where he asks disgraced former chief Mark Isom point-blank if he ordered an infiltration of the KKK.
He said at no time did he ever instruct, or have anybody working undercover or infiltrating, a Klan organization.
He also swore he didn’t know of any other officers involved in the Klan aside from one who resigned in 2009.
Meanwhile, due to Hunnewell’s and Borst’s alleged KKK affiliations, nine criminal cases are in jeopardy of being dropped.
All the defendants in those cases are set to face prison time if they’re convicted for drugs, guns, burglary, battery and assault.
State records show four of the suspects are ex-cons.
“Some bad guys are probably going to catch a break they don’t deserve,” said WFTV’s legal analyst Bill Sheaffer.
Since Borst and Hunnewell were two witnesses in many of these combined cases, the Lake County State Attorney’s Office said it’s possible many will have to be dismissed.
Prosecutors said it could ruin the officers’ credibility.
“It would be so easy for a good defense attorney to destroy their credibility in front of a jury,” Sheaffer said.
Manuel Hernandez spoke to WFTV about his arrest by the Fruitland Park Police.
The 38-year-old said he’s still paying for a drug arrest he was never convicted of.
“When I was arrested I lost my whole business, everything,” he said. “Can’t run a business when you’re in jail.”
He said when WFTV broke the news about the two officers possibly being Klansmen, it was not surprising.
He claimed he was targeted and called derogatory names.
“If you have an issue with anyone’s color of nationality, you shouldn’t be serving and protecting,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez’s father is one of the nine defendants with criminal cases under review by the state attorney.