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Thursday August 21st 2014

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No Statement from Mayor on FOP’s Accusations

A day after the local police union requested that the Pensacola City Council investigate Mayor Ashton Hayward for misusing his office to intimidate officers, a city spokesman said that there would be no statement issued regarding the matter.

City of Pensacola Public Information Officer Derek Cosson said late this afternoon that Mayor Hayward would not be making a statement at this time about the claims and request made last night by the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 71.

The FOP related to council last night an incident that occurred during the Oct. 19 Gallery Night event. The union recounted officers’ accounts of Mayor Hayward taking issue with the fact that streets were being reopened to vehicular traffic at 9 p.m.—he allegedly compared the police’s methods of clearing the street to “Beirut” and demanded that an officer “get on his police radio and tell the supervisor to relax.”

The city council requested more information, including an account of the evening from Hayward. The board will consider an investigation during its Nov. 13 Committee of the Whole meeting.

Earlier today, Cosson said that the city may be issuing a statement on the matter. Prior to that—early this morning—the spokesman had said that there would be no statement, that the matter would probably be handled internally.

“In any other work place this is the kind of issue that would be handled internally,” Cosson said initially. “This is an issue that any organization would handle internally. I think that’s the way the mayor would like to handle this.”

The spokesman said he did not know if the mayor would be issuing a public statement on the FOP’s position in the future.