Internal investigation of GPD’s Scott preceded resignation

Gainesville Police Chief Lonnie Scott submitted his letter of resignation on Feb. 25 when he was given the option to resign or be fired.
Gainesville Police Chief Lonnie Scott submitted his letter of resignation on Monday when he was given the option to resign or be fired.

The Ocala Police Department (OPD) conducted an internal investigation on Gainesville Police Chief Lonnie Scott over several months in 2023, according to documents obtained by Mainstreet Daily News.  

OPD submitted its report in December, but the final charge was settled on Feb. 12—the week before Gainesville City Manager Cynthia Curry informed Scott he could either resign or face termination.  

Curry declined a request to be interviewed for this story, so it was not immediately clear if the investigation was related to the ultimatum she delivered to Scott on Feb. 23.  

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Of the six charges, OPD cleared Scott of five and left the final charge—an alleged violation of the city’s Code of Ethics—for Curry to decide. All charges related to how Scott handled the Gainesville Police Department (GPD) K-9 unit following the 2022 apprehension of Terrell Bradley, who lost an eye in the encounter.  

Terrell Bradley
Courtesy Alachua County Jail Terrell Bradley

Sergeant Charles Owens and Corporal Joshua Meurer, two former GPD K-9 officers, filed the charges against Scott. In June 2023, GPD Chief Inspector Jaime Kurnick “requested an independent law enforcement agency investigate the complaint.”

Three OPD executive staff members—each with more than 25 years of experience—filled the three-member disposition panel. 

The charges say Scott engaged in a series of unfair practices, agency violations and punitive actions following the Bradley apprehension. The OPD investigation included in-person interviews with Owens, Meurer, Scott and eight other GPD officers.   

According to a Feb. 14 memo obtained through a records request, Curry cleared Scott of the sixth charge on Feb. 12 after having met with Scott, Owens and Meurer for any additional information. She informed Assistant Police Chief Nelson Moya that she and human resources had dismissed the final charge, closing the investigation. 

In a Feb. 23 meeting, Curry told Scott she wanted to take the department in a new direction, offering him the choice to resign or be fired. On Monday, Scott resigned

“After considering the alternatives, I have elected to submit my resignation,” Scott wrote in a letter released by the city to local media. “Nevertheless, I remain unclear as to why you believe this is necessary. I recognize, however, that as an at-will employee that the decision is yours.”   

Jaime Kurnick
Courtesy city of Gainesville Jaime Kurnick

Curry said the decision to remove Scott came after a year marked by challenges in internal and external communication, employee morale and staffing shortages. 

In the wake of the Bradley incident in 2022, GPD faced heavy public criticism and questions from the Gainesville City Commission. Scott said the team followed protocol, but the K-9 team was sidelined before returning to duty and then being pulled aside again. In January, the K-9 team returned to full duty.  

In the first charge, Meurer accused Scott of punitive actions for requiring Meurer to pay $1,000 to own his K-9, Ranger, when he left GPD. While acknowledging that past chiefs have allowed K-9 handlers to retain their dogs free of charge, the panel cleared Scott citing Ranger’s remaining potential work years.  

“Chief Scott felt it was a responsible action on his part to not give away city property that still had useful service,” the panel wrote.  

Second, Meurer alleged he was passed over for sergeant and further promotions would be blocked because of his resignation from the K-9 team.  

“Chief Scott explained that he did not receive a recommendation from his command staff for Corporal Meurer to be promoted to sergeant,” the panel cited as cause for clearing Scott.  

Cynthia Curry
Courtesy city of Gainesville Cynthia Curry

The panel’s report also stated that Meurer’s later resignation from GPD was not found to be forced.  

Third, Meurer claimed inconsistent and unfair practices by Scott, but the panel disagreed.  

“When officers lose sight of thinking what is in the best interest of the agency and think more of themselves, it will magnify other grievances they may have experienced over their time with the agency,” the panel wrote. “The Disposition Panel believes Corporal Meurer acted correctly in the Bradley incident but, over time, lost proper perspective when he was dissatisfied with the direction of the K-9 Unit.” 

Owens’ first charge said inappropriate action by Scott impaired his relationships at work and in the community.  

“Much of the complaint is based on things Sgt. Owens was told by other people and speculation on his part,” the panel wrote. “The Disposition Panel does not believe any improper conduct by Chief Scott occurred as he handled the inner agency matters surrounding the K-9 Unit that would have tarnished the reputation of Sgt. Owens.”  

A second charge from Owens accused Scott of making false, vicious or malicious statements related to Owens’ transition from leading the K-9 unit to a patrol assignment. The panel found the charge unfounded, citing interviews with officers and command staff who said they were unaware of any false statements about Owens.  

The disposition panel report did not specify the exact allegations associated with the alleged Code of Ethics violation, also brought by Owens, that it referred to Curry.  

Scott did not return a request for comment for this story. 

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The real problem is overpaid judges and public attorneys, letting loose repeat offenders and overworked GPD as a result. Topped with attracting outside homeless with magnet policies last 15-20 years. GPD deserve 200% pay raises, paid by cutting judicial salaries.


Do you not know your GOP controlled legislature are the ones thaf craft statues and sentencing guidelines that Judges and ASAs are obligated to follow? Go to the source of the problem.


Even the best manager can’t do a good job when support staff and executive overreach blunts command authority. The discipline in the ranks of the GPD seems to be sorely lacking. When a city police chief is actually the 2nd in command, there is almost no chance for success at the job.


Sounds like a couple of spoiled brats who did not get their way. Being a manager of people, especially this generation of “me employees” is extremely challenging. Very disappointing that his superior obviously did not support him. The charges were ludicrous. To end an employees career over that non-sense speaks of her lack of judgement.


Wow, The Rookie City Manager has fired more people than any individual previous to her questionable hire. When can she start getting rid of “Staff” , Mayors , and Commissioner’s?