A Clearwater sergeant was found by an internal investigation to have a long history of misusing Florida law enforcement computer data by making a survey of the wives of other police officers according to press reports.
|Officer’s Empty Shoes|
One of the databases used by the Seargeant not only allows the viewing of photographs of Floridians, but includes personal information such as the date of birth, home address and driving history. The Clearwater police officer retired before the Clearwater Police Department could fire him; in fact he retired even before Clearwater criminal defense attorneys could depose him for abusing the public trust.
Yet it’s troubling that leering at the information on fellow officer’s wives in Florida information databases seems to have been the tipping point in forcing the retirement rather than the use of the database to find personal information on a reporter, nor the use of information on his ex-wife’s new boyfriend, nor the use of private information gleaned from government databases over a hundred times against those he should have been protecting just in the past two years for questionable purposes.
And this is especially troubling when one considers the sordid history of police assaults on privacy in the Tampa Bay area of Florida, where a narcotics division internal affairs investigation led to resignations for wide-spread misconduct that included, lying under oath, making fake subpoenas and other felonious conduct.
The real question here for Tampa Bay criminal lawyers is whether criminal charges should be brought against the officer. The decision should not be based on his disrespect to other officers while leering at their wives, but on the fact that the very laws that the Clearwater Police Department was meant to enforce are the very laws one of its leaders chose to abuse for two years and over one hundred times.