A Critical Review Of The County Personnel Board

In The Defense Of Deputy Keith Baughman

August 29, 2016
"In a state where corruption abounds, laws must be very numerous." - Tacitus

A Critical Review Of The Personnel Board
Volusia County's Kangaroo Court

On August 16, 2016 - VolusiaExposed.Com attended and video recorded the final meeting of the Volusia County Personnel Board regarding the Deputy Keith Baughman termination.

During the spring and summer of 2016 - the Personnel Board had met twice before regarding the Baughman matter. VolusiaExposed was unable to attend the first meeting due to prior commitments - but we attended - and video recorded - the last two meetings.

Over the years - VolusiaExposed.Com has attended many Volusia County Personnel Board hearings.

Over those years - VolusiaExposed has agreed and disagreed with the findings of the Board. However - our overall opinion of the Board is that it's nothing more than the County's kangaroo court for personnel matters.

Our observations at the Baughman hearings did nothing to dispel our overall opinion of the Board. Read on for particulars.
Click Below To Review The Baughman
Internal Affairs Investigation


The official rationale for firing Deputy Baughman was his alleged failure to properly investigate an alleged sexual assault that had transpired fifteen years prior. According to the above right listed document - this alleged sexual assault was reported in September 2014. But according to the VCSO internal affairs investigation (IA-15-018) - Deputy Baughman was not fired until January 2016 - because he alleged investigative failures were not detected for over a year.

We invite you to read the above linked (right of page) VCSO internal affairs investigation for the particular allegations against Deputy Baughman.


If it is assumed that the VCSO is indeed correct in that Deputy Baughman failed to properly investigate the 15 year old sexual assault - then we (VolusiaExposed.Com) must question why it took the VCSO over a year to detect Baughman's failures?

In our opinion - there seems to be a systematic failure within the VCSO - regarding their procedures that verify their deputies' work product. Baughman's union supplied attorney - Mr. Blitch did an excellent job exposing these systematic failures within the VCSO chain of command. The Volusia deputies are represented by the Teamsters - Local 385 - Orlando

In our opinion - placing the entire blame of Deputy Baughman - is making him the scapegoat for a problem that transcends his pay grade.
Procedural Violations Of
The Personnel Board

In our (VolusiaExposed) opinion the Personnel Board engaged in two major procedural violations. We believe that both violations denied Deputy Baughman his right to due process.

The first violation can be viewed in video M2U00738 (right of page). In our opinion - Board member Joie Alexander clearly expressed her opinion that Baughman was indeed in violation of VCSO policies PRIOR to the completion of the defense's case. The defense was in the process of presenting evidence challenging the county's allegations against Baughman - in fact - Alexander's statements were made prior to the defense witness - Sgt. MacDonald testifying.

Personnel Board Member Joie Alexander's Alleged Inappropriate Statements
Should She Have Recused Herself?

Interestingly - Sgt. MacDonald's testimony addressed many of Alexander's questions and concerns (see video M2U00739). Upon Attorney Blitch challlenging Alexander's inappropriate comments - Alexander's defense was that she was unaware that the defense was still presenting it's case.

Blitch did insist that Alexander be recused - but both the chairman of the Personnel Board and Alexander herself opted not to recuse her. It's our opinion at this point that the Personnel Board stopped being a fact finding body - and became that very kangaroo court we have accused them several times of being.

The second procedural violation can be viewed within video M2U00743 (see bottom of page) - during the Personnel Board's deliberations.

In the past - Deputy Baughman has been disciplined for mis-using Florida's driver license database - commonly known within the law enforcement community as D.A.V.I.D.

Deputy Baughman was investigated AND DISCIPLINED in 2013 - under VCSO IA-13-019 for his violations of the D.A.V.I.D database.

However, we invite you (our readers) to carefully listen to the Personnel Board's deliberations - and determine for youself if they supported the sustaining of one of the 2014 charges against Baughman because he had admitted to his 2013 D.A.V.I.D violations.

His 2013 D.A.V.I.D violations - should have NOT been used to sustain alleged violations of VCSO policies surrounding his alleged failures in 2014 to properly investigate a reported sexual assault.

With that said - we do believe it to be appropriate - for his past discipline history to be evaluated by the Personnel Board in their determination of whether his level of discipline in the case before them was appropriate. However, his past policy violations (2013) can not - in our opinion - be used to sustain alleged 2014 policy violations.

Should Keith Baughman Be Wearing A Badge?

That's a tough question for us to answer. After all Deputy Baughman is on our Brady Cop list.

But the truth of the matter is - if we could magically snap our fingers and instantaneously terminate all the police officers that have actually violated the D.A.V.I.D database - there would be abandoned police cars all across the State of Florida. Baughman is one of the few that have been caught and disciplined for this rather common violation.

As far as Baughman's mistakes in the sexual assault investigation - our opinion basically boils down to this - BFD - his mistakes pales in comparison to his supervisors' - and the VCSO as a whole.

YOU (our readers) will have to come to your own conclusion regarding Baughman - but before you do - we invite you to listen to VCSO Sgt. Jeff MacDonald's opinion of whether the taxpayers of Volusia County would be well served with Baughman being back in uniform.

For us - we will defer to Sgt. MacDonald's opinion.
VCSO Sgt. Jeffrey MacDonald's Testimony Regarding
Deputy Keith Baughman's Law Enforcement Skills

What's Next - Arbitration?
Our Final Thoughts

According to the last moments of video M2U00743 - Attorney Blitch places the Personnel Board on notice that per union contract - the board's decisions are appealable to arbitration. Absent the union contract - the board's decisions would have been only appealable to the County Manager.

VolusiaExposed.Com can only assume that if the union decides to appeal the decisions of the Personnel Board - that the county would be responsible for some of the cost of arbitration.

VolusiaExposed.Com attempted to reach out - via email- to the County Administration regarding our above listed concerns - and whether the union and the county were working on some type of agreement. The county responded that they do not comment on pending litigation.

Based on Sgt. Jeff MacDonald's testimony and his opinion of Baughman - coupled with the Personnel Board's apparent violations of Baughman's due process rights - VolusiaExposed.Com forwards the opinion that the Volusia County taxpayers' would be best served with Deputy Baughman back in uniform - absent the expense of an arbitration hearing.

Afterall - if Deputy Stephanie Leclerc and Deputy Michael Sawicki deserve an additional chance - given their rather serious violations of VCSO policies and Florida State criminal law - surely Deputy Baughman's mere violations of VCSO policies can be appropriately forgiven.

Then again - maybe the difference has more to do with Deputy Baughman's family not being politically connected - or maybe - it has do with the fact that Baughman is romantically involved with a ranking deputy's former wife? And there you have it.
Closing Arguments Start
Attorney Blitch Repeats His Concerns
Regarding Joie Alexander's Comments

Closing Arguments Continue

Closing Arguments Continue
Personnel Board Deliberates

We look forward to your comments on this situation.
Drop us a line to let us know what you think.