PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Deputy Joseph Sacino was fired from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office in Florida after investigators said he ignored orders to conduct traffic enforcement, and instead “sat idle in his agency assigned patrol vehicle for over four hours surfing the internet,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release.
Investigators said that after his shift, Sacino lied to his supervisor when asked to give information about the traffic stops he was supposed to have 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 that Sacino drove to a Walmart, found a vehicle legally parked, and then fabricated a report about the vehicle’s owner, alleging that they were involved in drug activity, the sheriff’s office said in its news release.
“Deputy Sacino did this for self-serving reasons, to conceal his lack of activity and incompetence, with no regard of the consequences this report could have had for the citizen involved, or for any citizen operating that vehicle in the future,” Sheriff Bob Gualtieri told WFLA.
Sheriff’s office investigators told the Tampa Bay Times that supervisors confronted Sacino with evidence from his Computer Aided Dispatch activity, along with video from his in-car and body-worn cameras, which prompted his confession.
Sacino is alleged to have told investigators, “It is very serious, and it’s criminal grounds and grounds to be fired. It’s a serious matter.”
Deputies told WFTS that the false report that was put into the system has since been deleted, and there was no adverse impact on the citizen whose information was used.
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