Rather than testify under oath a Pinellas Sheriff’s Deputy and Detective of the Narcotics Division resigned in shame yesterday when confronted with thousands of pages of internal affairs evidence of his misconduct and possible criminal actions. Other Deputies are also being investigated by internal affairs for numerous violations of Florida law in Tampa Bay, which leads your favorite Clearwater Criminal Defense Attorney to wonder who the real criminals are when law enforcement at the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department is so corrupt that it investigates itself. This blog noted months ago that undercover detectives were accused of using fake subpoenas and donning the gear of utility men to gain entry into homes as well as committing possible felonies such as armed trespass and burglary.
|Goya, Shame, 1814|
It shouldn’t take a former prosecutor and Clearwater Criminal Defense Lawyer to state the obvious: more than internal scrutiny is necessary to clean up this mess. A Grand Jury should be convened to investigate local law enforcement’s failure to abide by Florida law. Indictments should follow for any illegal activity. If the Pinellas State Attorney’s office doesn’t have the stomach to properly investigate crime at PCSO with the guidance of a local Grand Jury, then Governor Scott should convene a Grand Jury that will look into the systematic corruption within the criminal justice system in Pinellas at a higher and presumably more effective level to root out corrupt law enforcement. As citizens of Florida we have the right to expect that our law enforcement officers will abide by the same laws that we must follow because the law applies equally to all of us.