Leif Broberg: Ex-Boynton officer sues city, chief, claiming leav - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Leif Broberg: Ex-Boynton officer sues city, chief, claiming leave was retaliation for whistleblowing

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A longtime Boynton Beach police officer is suing the city, Police Chief Jeffrey Katz and Assistant Police Chief Suzanne Crawford, alleging retaliation for blowing the whistle to federal investigators on the assistant chief’s husband.

Leif Broberg, a sergeant and 24-year veteran with the Boynton Beach department was placed on administrative leave in May.

His suspension came shortly after Broberg sent a letter to the city manager claiming that then-Major Suzanne Crawford retaliated against him for talking to FBI agents about her husband.

Crawford, who has since been promoted to assistant chief is married to Boynton Beach Detective Christopher Crawford.

On April 9, Broberg spoke with FBI agents who were investigating an alleged cover-up within the department.

The federal investigation concerned the arrest of Byron Harris, who in August, 2014, led police on a high speed chase after injuring an officer during a traffic stop.

The chase and subsequent arrest that was captured on video from a sheriff’s helicopter shows officers beating and kicking Harris while he is on the ground.

According to court filings, during his interview with the FBI, Broberg stated that members of the department had told him that Chief Katz had spoken about “getting rid” of the video.

Chief Katz assigned the Harris investigation to the Public Corruption Task Force (PCTF).
Christopher Crawford, husband of the assistant chief, is a member of the PCTF and allegedly an ally of the chief.

In the interview Broberg also told FBI agents that a former officer had told him that Christopher Crawford had falsified a photo line-up in 2009 by coaching the witness to choose a certain photo.

After his interview with the FBI, Broberg claims Suzanne Crawford attempted to intimidate and harass him, according to court records.

The department launched an investigation into Broberg, he was placed on administrative leave and eventually recommended for termination.

In the court filing Broberg says he suffered because of this and is asking for more than $15,000 in damages, reinstatement, back pay and attorney fees.

The filing claims the city violated the whistleblower's act, and the chief and assistant chief are accused of Tortious Interference.

The case has been assigned to Judge Jeffrey Gillen.

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