A trooper with the Florida Highway Patrol is in hot water after being arrested on suspicion of perjury and official misconduct. The felony charges were filed after an investigation into the trooper's arrest of a man last November on alleged drunk driving charges in Venice, Florida.
The trooper arrested a 71-year-old man on suspicion of driving under the influence along Interstate 75. However, information in the arrest report was not supported by the video recorded on the trooper's dashcam video of the traffic stop.
The DUI charges against the 71-year-old driver were ultimately dropped. That case was dropped by prosecutors on the eve of trial. This blog discussed the issue, and the opening of the investigation into the discrepancies in the DUI arrest reports last May.
Additional allegations of inconsistencies, however, emerged in other traffic stops. Prosecutors say that inconsistencies existed in an arrest report in February of this year, and during a St. Patrick's Day incident involving the trooper. Again, dashcam videos and the trooper's arrest reports do not match up, according to prosecutors.
The current charges against the FHP trooper apparently involve a select number of investigations that he had conducted. But the current allegations also call into question other DUI arrests that the trooper may have been involved in.
The trooper has been on paid leave since the investigation was opened in May. He turned himself in on the current official misconduct and perjury charges last week. He reportedly was processed on the felony charges at the Sarasota County Jail and later released on $1,000 bond.
- My Fox 13 Tampa Bay, "FHP fires trooper over false DUI reports," Josh Cascio, Nov. 8, 2012
- Sarasota Herald-Tribune, "FHP fires trooper and arrests him on perjury charges," Lee Williams, Nov. 8, 2012