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Former Naples mayor defends himself amid child prostitution ring claims

NAPLES, Fla.– Former Naples Mayor Bill Barnett filed an ethics complaint with the city on Tuesday in an attempt to clear his name.

An ethics complaint was filed by Naples IT Director Brian Dye in May, alleging Mayor Teresa Heitmann accused Barnett of running a child prostitution ring out of the Naples Airport. Sheriff Rambosk was also allegedly accused by Heitmann.

Previous coverage: Collier County officials accused of running child prostitution ring out of Naples Airport

“I just want this cleared,” Barnett said. 

Barnett stood before the Naples City Council asking them to refer Dye’s complaint to the newly formed ethics commission. Barnett also informed them he was filing a complaint.

Unlike Dye, who filed his complaint with the Florida Commission on Ethics, Barnett filed a complaint with the City of Naples Ethics Commission.

Right now, the Florida Commission on Ethics is investigating Dye’s complaint but Barnett says it will be a longer process. 

“It takes a long time, they do a lot of work and represent the State of Florida…with our city ethics commission it would be done a lot quicker,” Barnett said.

The council has not agreed to refer Dye’s complaint to the Naples Ethics Commission. 

Mayor Teresa Heitmann said in a council meeting on Tuesday, “I do think we should move forward and let the state come through and take it to the local but I don’t think it’s something we have to do today.” 

Barnett wants to put this behind him. 

“It’s not just my name, and my integrity but it’s my family. We need to clear my name and those that surround me,” Barnett said. 

Barnett’s friends are standing with him.

“I am just glad to see him stand up and defend himself in front of them,” George Dondanville said. 

Barnett is waiting and hoping the Naples Ethics Commission will take action.  

“I am hoping that the city ethics commission looks at mines seriously and says ‘yeah we are going to take it’,” Barnett said.  

For right now Barnett has to keep the contents of the complaint confidential.

The post Former Naples mayor defends himself amid child prostitution ring claims appeared first on NBC2 News.

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