Lakeland City Attorney Tim McCausland was arrested in Hillsborough County just before noon Wednesday under suspicion of committing so-called “precursor acts facilitating prostitution,” according to Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office records.
McCausland, 69, was arrested in Brandon at a hotel near the intersection of Adamo Drive/State Road 60 and Falkenburg Road under a county ordinance aimed at curbing prostitution and solicitation. The law makes illegal actions the county considers precursors to prostitution even when there is no mention of “money, prostitution, sexual acts or any euphemism for those terms” between conversants, according to court records.
McCausland was one of eight individuals arrested as part of an HCSO sting operation.
“Using fake advertisements posted on an adult escort website, HCSO detectives were able to lure several individuals to a hotel located in the area of S. Falkenberg Road and E. Adamo Drive,” the agency said in a news release.
“Once they arrived, each person came in contact with an undercover detective,” the Sheriff’s Office continued.
LkldNow.com has requested additional information from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office but had not received the requested documents by Wednesday evening.
“The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office holds all residents and visitors to the same standard. If you break the law in our county, no matter who you are, you will be arrested,” Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said in the release. “Operations like this help us to not only seek out possible victims of human trafficking, but also find and take criminals off the streets who are hiding in plain sight.”
Chronister noted the agency also arrested a person suspected in an unrelated grand theft and burglary case.
McCausland is the city of Lakeland’s chief legal counsel and one of only two employees directly hired and managed by the Lakeland City Commission, the other being the city manager.
McCausland has worked for the city since 1992, when he was hired as the chief assistant city attorney. He was promoted to the top of the department in 2001 and is currently paid an annual salary of $222,946.
When contacted by a reporter, the city issued the following statement:
“The City of Lakeland was recently notified about an issue involving City Attorney Tim McCausland that happened this afternoon. We know very little and are trying to ascertain further details. … We have no further comment at this time.