NORTH PORT-- Three officers from the North Port Police Department were recently placed on paid administrative leave, ABC 7 has learned.
On March 31st and April 10, Chief Kevin Vespia sent out letters to three officers, alerting them to surrender their badges, firearms and cars, because the department would be placing them on administrative leave. The letters were first obtained by our coverage partners at the North Port Sun. No other major details are provided in the letters.
Internal Affairs investigations are now ongoing.
It remains unclear why the three officers are being looked at. There is some speculation that it may be related to an incident at a party that took place last month, where sexual battery allegations were made against NPPD Officers Ricky Urbina and Melanie Turner. Urbina recently took his own life and Turner has been charged with principle to sexual battery and false imprisonment.
Chief Kevin Vespia and Assistant Police Chief Anthony Sirianni aren't saying much. Vespia told the North Port Sun, "We want to provide as much information as we can because our city believes in transparency, but we're also obligated to follow the law." It's a law which governs the receipt and processing of complaints against law enforcement personnel.
Along with Turner, a total of four NPPD officers are now on leave.