CREATED Oct. 8, 2013
CAPE CORAL, Fla. - In an email dated Sept. 19th, Fort Myers Sgt. Ramy Moussa sent an open letter to the entire Fort Myers Police Department. Using his city email address it includes pictures of a t-shirt. The shirt shows the faces of police officers shot in the line of duty. Below the pictures, the words, "Save our police department. Vote no November 5th".
The message is in reference to consolidating FMPD with the Lee County Sheriff's Office.
The trouble is, according to Florida statute, "Employees cannot engage in any political campaigning activities while working in their normal job capacity and/or while on city time." Also, "No person shall make or solicit political contribution in a building owned by a government entity."
Mayoral candidate Raimond Aulen who supports a consolidation says the email is a clear violation.
"Well obviously these individuals need to be reprimanded and made aware of the election laws if they don't already know what the laws are," said Aulen.
But many viewers think otherwise. Keith from North Fort Myers said, "You can't blame the officers for wanting to keep their jobs, their careers, they have families, retirements, futures. He's just merely trying to get support in the community to keep the department alive and well."
"These officers have a right to fight back to save their department and their community of which they serve," said Deborah from North Fort Myers.
Margaret from Fort Myers added, "I agree he shouldn't have done it with his email address but sometimes you get excited."
Lou also from Fort Myers thought he shouldn't be swaying anyone on city email. "I think that is wrong, any other job and you'd be fired."
The consolidation is on the November ballot. If found guilty of violating the provision, Moussa could face a misdemeanor of the first degree.