PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. – Deputy Joseph Sacino was fired from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office in Florida after investigators said he was ignoring orders to conduct traffic enforcement, and instead was “inactive in his assigned patrol vehicle for more than four hours while on the Internet.” surfed,” the sheriff said in a press release.
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Investigators said that after his shift, Sacino lied to his supervisor when asked to provide information about the traffic stops he allegedly made, and “ignored requests from his supervisors when asked for the case number and documentation for the traffic stop.”
When supervisors questioned Sacino about his inactivity, investigators said Sacino drove to a Walmart, found a vehicle parked legally and then fabricated a report on the vehicle’s owner, claiming they were involved in drug activity, the sheriff said in his press release. .
“Deputy Sacino did this out of self-interest, to hide his lack of activity and incompetence, without regard for the consequences this report could have had on the citizen concerned, or on any citizen driving that vehicle in the future,” he said. Sheriff Bob. Gualtieri told WFLA.
Investigators at the sheriff’s office told the Tampa Bay Times that supervisors confronted Sacino with evidence of his Computer Aided Dispatch activity, along with video from his in-car and body-worn cameras, leading him to his confession.
Sacino is said to have told investigators: “It is very serious, and it is a criminal ground and reason to be fired. It’s serious business.”
Deputies told WFTS that the false report posted to the system has since been removed and there were no ill effects to the citizen whose information was being used.
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