Posts Tagged ‘Florida Department of Law Enforcement’

Florida hired owner of Hollywood nursing home where patients died to plan for disasters

Monday, October 16th, 2017

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
Twice in the last five years, Florida hired to review area disaster planning a hospital run by the owner of the Hollywood nursing home where elderly patients died after Hurricane Irma cut power to air-conditioning.
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FBI boss Comey and ‘inexplicable’ delays in matters of ‘highest national importance’

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
The FBI’s renewed push to dismiss a Miami Freedom of Information lawsuit seeking records of the enigmatic 9/11 Review Commission and FBI activities “of the highest national importance” should be denied, court papers contend.
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FDLE consultant arrested in fraud scheme

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

John Leland Goelz
A consultant with more than two decades’ experience working with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) was arrested and charged with grand theft and organized scheme to defraud the state government, a spokesperson confirmed Thursday.
John Leland Goelz, a non-sworn technical consultant to the FDLE for 23 years, oversaw the cellphones used by agents and employees throughout the agency, said FDLE spokeswoman Gretl Pessinger.
Investigators believe Goelz purchased cellphones for himself and his family using FDLE’s mobile device contract, a violation of ethics, Pessinger added.
FDLE began examining Goelz after a member reported not being able to get an older cellphone upgraded, and went to a supervisor about it.
“He started to notice that everyone around him was getting upgrades, but his cellphone was old and he couldn’t get an upgrade,” Pessinger told FloridaPolitics.com by phone Thursday.
As part of its mobile device contract, FDLE is eligible for a certain number of mobile device upgrades at discounted rates each year. Goelz purchased 10 mobile devices for his personal use that should have been used to upgrade FDLE member phones, according to a statement issued by the law enforcement agency.
By using FDLE’s contract, he could receive steep discounts on the phones he purchased.  The value lost to the agency was nearly $5,000, Pessinger confirmed.
FDLE is in the process of upgrading its procedures to ensure no changes are made regarding FDLE mobile phones without supervisory oversight.  Goelz, who was arrested Tuesday and booked into the Leon County Jail, is in the process of being terminated from FDLE.
The Office of the State Attorney, 2nd Judicial Circuit will prosecute this case, Pessinger said.

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Appropriations Committee approves bill removing police ‘discretion tool’ in first-time cases with juveniles

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

A bill introduced and passed unanimously in the Appropriations Committee on Criminal and Civil Justice Wednesday would take away a tool long since considered useful, but increasingly controversial – the power of discretion.
The measure – SB 196 — could drastically limit what those in the policing community could do when responding to calls involving minors, detractors at the meeting — which included representatives from the law enforcement associations — argued, as the bill’s sponsor, Miami Republican Sen. Anitere Flores looked on.
“We cannot agree to a bill that takes away from law enforcement discretion,” Matt Dunagan, executive director of the Florida Sheriff’s Association, said. “The sheriff’s do support diversion programs, but if an (ordinance or law) has been broken, a citation must be issued.”
Shane Bennet, head of the Florida Police Chiefs Association, echoed Dunagan’s concerns, also adding his organization supported the civil citations program, which helps offenders who are still minors avoid criminal charges.
The bill also would create diversion programs for first-time offenders, avoiding a criminal record, which could prevent them from joining the military or qualifying for a range of jobs.
“When young people commit serious crimes, there needs to be an appropriate legal penalty. However, there are many situations where youth are displaying a lack of judgment and maturity, rather than serious criminal behavior,” said President Pro Tempore Flores. “This legislation ensures that we utilize other avenues that correct inappropriate behavior without stigmatizing our youth with a criminal record that could impact their future education and career opportunities.”
More than 9,000 minors were arrested in Florida in 2016. Disparities between counties can confound officials, too, as Flores noted, citing that in Pinellas County, where diversion programs have been in place for years, 94 percent of eligible juveniles received civil citations.
“But drive across the bridge into Hillsborough County — it’s only one-third,

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Florida child protection investigator arrested for lying in possible sex abuse case

Monday, February 20th, 2017

A former child protection detective in Florida was arrested for lying in an ongoing investigation involving the possible sexual assault of a child, a spokesman for the state’s Department of Children and Families confirmed Monday.
According to court records, Brittanee Sharmayne Carter, 27, was taken into custody by agents of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) after a warrant was issued for her arrest.
She was charged with two felony counts of altering or destroying the records of a minor in study under custody, court documents confirmed.
DCF spokeswoman Jessica Sims said Carter was terminated from her position in February 2016.
“The actions of this individual were absolutely unacceptable, and the Department has no tolerance for any violation of the public trust,” Sims told FloridaPolitics.com by email. “When these allegations surfaced, an investigation was initiated by the DCF inspector general and law enforcement was notified during the course of the investigation. Allegations of falsification of records were reported to the DCF IG Feb. 2, 2016. Ms. Carter resigned Feb. 3, 2016.”
Carter fictitiously reported she had visited various elementary schools in the Tallahassee area in the course of an investigation regarding a child had been sexually assaulted, according to records.
She told investigators that it was difficult for her to keep up with her caseload at times and would confuse facts, The Associated Press reported.
“We appreciate FDLE’s assistance in holding this individual accountable,” Sims said. “When the IG investigation is complete, the full redacted IG report will be posted on our website.”
Carter was only in custody for a little more than an hour before posting bail on a $1,000 bond. It was not clear if she had yet retained a lawyer.
Attempts to contact her were unsuccessful before the publishing of this story.
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Broward insurance firm-turned-‘Ponzi scheme’ cost Florida, policyholders $100 million

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
The final act in the little-noticed liquidation of a Fort Lauderdale-based insurance company that regulators say evolved into a “Ponzi scheme” that cost Florida and its policyholders more than $100 million is set to unfold in court this spring.
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Five nominees slated for Law Enforcement Hall of Fame

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

As many as five people – including a former FDLE head and two late county sheriffs – will likely be added to the Florida Law Enforcement Officers’ Hall of Fame, according to documents filed for the next Cabinet meeting.
Cabinet aides meet today to prepare for the next meeting, set for next Tuesday.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Rick Swearingen will present Gov. Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam with the latest nominees. In alphabetical order:
— Richard M. Beary. He served more than 39 years in state and local law enforcement, including the Altamonte Springs Police Department, the Lake Mary Police Department, and the University of Central Florida, where he is now chief. Beary also was president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. “He has been a national voice on community-oriented policing and served on the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, a group dedicated to develop community-involved solutions for bias-free policing,” the nomination says.
— William B. Berger. He’s spent 42 years in “public service and public safety,” starting with the Miami Police Department and later as chief of police for North Miami Beach Police Department. In 2004, he was named as the chief of police for Palm Bay Police Department, “where he continued to create and implement new programs and use technology to enhance policing.” Berger is now U.S. Marshal for the Middle District of Florida.
— James T. Moore. He began his career with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in 1973, and was named FDLE Commissioner in 1988 by Gov. Bob Martinez and the Florida Cabinet. Moore then served under Govs. Lawton Chiles, Buddy MacKay (in office after Chiles’ death for less than a month) and Jeb Bush until his retirement in 2003. His focus included “involv(ing) the

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Rick Scott wants 5% raise for state law-enforcement

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

Florida Gov. Rick Scott wants the state’s highway patrol troopers, wildlife officers and state law-enforcement agents to get a 5 percent pay raise next year.
Scott will announce the proposal Thursday during a visit to a Florida Highway Patrol station in Orlando.
The governor said in a statement that the state’s nearly 4,000 sworn law-enforcement officers deserve the pay raise for their work in the past year, which included responding to two hurricanes and responding to the Pulse Nightclub shootings this summer.
Scott will include the $11.7 million request in budget recommendations he’ll give state legislators early next year. The Florida Legislature will consider the pay raise during the regular session that starts in March.
Scott hasn’t made a final decision on whether to recommend pay raises for other state workers.
Reprinted with the permission of the Associated Press

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Florida A&M University official sought bribes to admit students

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

A former Florida A&M University official is being charged with bribery after he allegedly asked parents to give him money to help their children get admitted to the college.
State law-enforcement agents on Tuesday arrested Leman Junior Ulee. The 46-year-old man was charged with two counts of bribery and one count of official misconduct.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement says Ulee was placed on administrative leave in April and fired by FAMU in August. The agency says FAMU asked state authorities to investigate.
Court records allege Ulee contacted the mothers of two students who unsuccessfully applied to FAMU and offered to admit them in exchange for a cash payment.
Ulee posted bond and has been released from jail. Court records do not show if he has hired an attorney.
Republished with permission of the Associated Press.

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