Fruitland Park city manager target of criminal investigation



FRUITLAND PARK, Fla. - Fruitland Park City Manager Ralph Bowers is under investigation for allegations of sexual battery.

Fruitland Park Police Chief Terry Isaacs said he got a complaint from another city employee Wednesday with a list of sexually related allegation.

He turned it over to the Lake County Sheriff's Office, which immediately opened an investigation.

Isaacs wouldn't comments on the investigation, but said he took Bowers' keys and city ID and banned him from City Hall until the investigation is over.

"I guess I'm not surprised," said Fruitland Park Commissioner Jim Richardson.

He said he warned other city leaders months ago, when he got anonymous calls about the claims.

Bowers came to Fruitland Park from Jasper, Fla. where he was also the city manager.

Records show he was fired in Jasper because of a long list of issues, including two complaints of sexual harassment.

"I think at this point if they're not willing to terminate him after all of this, I need to see if we can get the governor to step in and have him removed," said Richardson.

Channel 9 asked how Bowers got the job in Fruitland Park with past allegations of sexual harassment in his background, but no one at City Hall could answer that.

There's no word on how long the investigation will take.