Fired Punta Gorda Officer Appeals

John Rupolo

Fired Punta Gorda Officer Appeals

CREATED Aug. 21, 2012

PUNTA GORDA - Harvey Ayers, once named the departments officer of the year, wants his badge back.  He was fired almost two weeks ago after a series of disciplinary actions and reprimands dating back to 2004.

The one that got him fired found Ayers violated several department policies by allowing Charlotte County Corrections Officer Brittany Senger to ride along with him one evening last May. Ayers allowed Senger to approach vehicles as a backup officer, carry a weapon and badge, allowed her to draw her weapon, and assist officers in clearing a building.  After hearing about this investigation and previous reprimands some residents say Ayers s houldn't get his job back.

"I'm a nurse and if I did something like that I would not get my job back," said one resident.

After Ayers was placed on paid leave in June we investigated and found he was the subject of several reprimands  and internal affairs investigation.

They included using his patrol vehicle while off duty, mishandling seized narcotics, and not watching a prisoner who later escaped. One resident reacting this way.

"Sounds pretty severe," said one resident.

Ayers will be meeting with the City Manager to plead his case on hwy he should be given his job back. That hearing is scheduled for next month. But just as Ayers prepares for that appeal we're learning the department this week released more violations against him. This time, Ayers while on duty was found to violate department policy by visiting a female friend - the report read he was,

"Regularly being at the Tara Musselman residence while on duty and would not routinely update his location,"

It's another black eye for an officer looking for a second chance, a chance at least one resident says is a bad idea.

"That's a risk to public safety," said one resident.