The Melbourne police officer who was suspended earlier this month for allegedly making sexist and racist remarks was officially fired Thursday morning.

Sgt. Blake Lanza appealed his suspension during a hearing Wednesday in front of Melbourne Police Chief Steve Mimbs.

Mimbs, in a hand-delivered letter to Lanza on Thursday, said the termination is effective immediately.

"After careful consideration of the information you and your attorney presented and the facts contained in the internal investigation, I am convinced that any decision I make short of your separation from the department will only lead to a caustic work environment for you and the employees impacted by your actions as brought to light in this investigation."

According to a 79-page internal investigation, Lanza was accused of making sexist and racist remarks to female officers under his command.

Documents stated Lanza, 41, admitted to ordering a female to do jumping jacks in front of a CPR class with all male officers.

In separate documented incidents, Lanza admitted to referring to an African-American officer as "Token" and "Chocodile" in open forum and out on calls for service.

"I used off-color humor and, for that, I made my mistakes," Lanza said in the appeal hearing. "I was prepared to be here today to answer for those mistakes."

Lanza claimed some of the allegations against him weren't true.

During the appeal hearing, Lanza said he was afraid to lose his job.

"It's something that will affect me the rest of my life, and my family," he said Wednesday. "It's very concerning and disturbing that these charges are there."

In the letter, Mimbs said Lanza failed at his responsibility to ensure a healthy and work environment.

"Further, as a police officer, your words and behaviors will have lasting effect on your ability to effectively perform your duties," Mimbs wrote.

Statement from Blake Lanza:

I am disappointed with the Chief's decision today. I provided evidence that clearly contradicted the allegations and witness testimony. I have no doubt that this was the overreaction to the complainant exploiting the discrimination card to manipulate this investigation. When all the evidence is weighed in a fair and impartial investigation, I will be vindicated and get my job back. I will not be the scapegoat for a thriving culture and the widespead morale issues within the Melbourne Police Department. I appreciate all the continued support that I have recieved from my freinds and family.

  • The picture was published from Florida Today with the paper's permission.

Termination letter to Melbourne Police Sgt. Blake Lanza