Who Is Policing Florida's Law Enforcement Agencies?
VCSO Refuses To Investigate Whether Former Deputy Engaged In Misconduct.
FDLE States That They Have No Authority To Require A VCSO Investigation.
Does Florida Statutes Say Differently?
August 10, 2015
Sheriff Department Ignored Misconduct?
As reported by Ohio media outlets, Former Volusia County Sheriff Deputy, Steve Korossy has surrendered himself to Ohio authorities.
Korossy was arraigned in Ottawa County Common Pleas Court and pleaded not guilty to 14 felony charges of unauthorized use of a restricted police database and one misdemeanor charge for falsification.
These criminal violations were allegedly committed by Korossy, while he was serving as an Ohio law enforcement officer. A full appreciation of these charges can be realized by reviewing the attached linked Sandusky Register article. ----------->
Since Korossy's Ohio charges include, the misuse of a law enforcement database, and the falsification of official reports - we (VolusiaExposed.Com) wonders whether Korossy was honest with VCSO officials during their pre-employment background investigative process?
Why is this important? Well, because, according to Florida's Law Enforcement Moral Character Standards (as defined in Florida Administrative Code 11B-27.0011 - see page 2), providing a false statement during the law enforcement employment process is a violation of those moral character standards, and should preclude a person from ever becoming a law enforcement officer in Florida.
FAC 11B-27.0011 secures it's authority through Florida Statute 943.13(7).
Florida Statute 943.1395(5) states that a law enforcement agency must conduct an investigation, if it suspects that a law enforcement officer has engaged in misconduct.
Reference F.S. 943.1395(5)
Additionally, F.S. 943.1395(5) requires that if the law enforcement agency sustains misconduct by their officer / deputy - that the agency MUST report this misconduct to FDLE / CJSTC.
CJSTC = "Criminal Justice Standards & Training Commission" - a subsection of FDLE. CJSTC is as important to law enforcement oversight, as the Florida Bar is to overseeing the conduct of Florida attorneys.
Lastly, F.S. 943.1395(5) empowers the commission (CJSTC) to be able to inspect and copy an employing agency’s records to ensure compliance with this subsection ("subsection" = F.S. 943.1395(5))
Outlines FDLE's Oversight Authority --->
"Frequently, officers under investigation for possible violations of the Commission’s moral character standard will resign or retire. Additionally, some agencies administratively separate an officer suspected of a violation rather than conduct an investigation into allegations. Regardless of the officer’s employment status with the agency, Commission rule requires that an investigation be completed and sustained allegations forwarded to Commission staff".
FDLE PROFESSIONAL COMPLIANCE BULLETIN
Click Below Image To Review Complete Bulletin
During The VCSO Employment Process?
Given that Korossy has been indicted for falsification and misuse of a law enforcement data base - we (VolusiaExposed.Com) have the opinion that it is reasonable to SUSPECT that Korossy was not honest with VCSO officials, regarding his knowledge of the Ohio criminal investigation against him.
Florida Statutes (943.1395) only requires the SUSPICION of officer misconduct, in it's mandate that the law enforcement agency conduct the misconduct investigation.
Reasonably, VCSO officials would have questioned Korossy regarding his criminal history. We (VolusiaExposed.Com) would imagine, that at a minimum, these types of background questions would have been asked during his voice stress test (lie detector test). VolusiaExposed requested a copy of those stress test questions - however, the VCSO refused to release them, claiming a public record exemption.
VolusiaExposed.Com also holds the opinion, that reasonable suspicion existed to question whether Deputy Korossy fully disclosed his "reason for leaving" a law enforcement position from the Put-In-Bay police department (see VCSO employment application - below scroll box).
According to a Ohio media article, the Put-In-Bay Village Council refused to re-hire Korossy due to allegations of civil rights violations being lodged against him.
So did Korossy lie during the VCSO hiring process? VolusiaExposed.Com suspects (our opinion) that he did - but due to the fact that the VCSO opted NOT to conduct an internal investigation into that probablity - that suspicion remains unanswered and unsustained.
With a hokey-dokey from FDLE (see below - hand written note on Affidavit of Separation - CJSTC 61), VCSO listed Deputy Korossy's separation as a "administrative termination NOT involving misconduct" - apparently, in direct violation of both F.S. 943.1395(5), and FDLE's May 2010 Professional Compliance Bulletin.
Insuring Compliance With CJSTC Rules?
Does This Alleged Lack Of Authority, Also Affect FDLE's
Officer Involved Shooting Investigations?
VolusiaExposed.Com reached out to FDLE where we voiced our concerns (opinion) that the VCSO was failing to properly investigate probable misconduct (moral character) violations of one of their deputies.
FDLE spokesperson, Gretl Plessinger responded to our concerns by stating that CJSTC staff members are not investigators, so FDLE relies on the local agency to determine whether or not a misconduct investigation should be conducted. Plessigner further stated that there were no puntive sanctions in Florida laws for an agency not conducting a misconduct investigation.
VolusiaExposed.Com strongly disagrees with Plessigner's remarks - we hold the opinion that F.S. 943.1395 gives the CJSTC / FDLE the authority to "inspect and copy the employing agency's records to ensure compliance with this subsection"AND PROVIDES A PUNITIVE SANCTION AGAINST intentionally executing a false affidavit. (see below - F.S. 943.1395(5-6)) Further, the signature section of the below listed CJSTC 61 (Affidavit of Separation) clearly denotes a warning that the intentional false filing of the affidavit is a misdemeanor violation of Florida law.
(5) The employing agency must conduct an internal investigation if it has cause to suspect that an officer is not in compliance with, or has failed to maintain compliance with, s. 943.13(4) or (7). If an officer is not in compliance with, or has failed to maintain compliance with, s. 943.13(4) or (7), the employing agency must submit the investigative findings and supporting information and documentation to the commission in accordance with rules adopted by the commission. The commission may inspect and copy an employing agency’s records to ensure compliance with this subsection. (6) The commission shall revoke the certification of any officer who is not in compliance with the provisions of s. 943.13(4) or who intentionally executes a false affidavit established in s. 943.13(8), s. 943.133(2), or s. 943.139(2).
Since it is now fairly obvious, that FDLE / CJSTC allows Florida's law enforcement agencies to self determine what is, or is not, a reportable moral character violation. VolusiaExposed.Com wonders - how much faith and credibility, the public should put into FDLE's "Officer Involved Shooting Investigations", involving those very same law enforcement agencies?.
Here are some recent examples of FDLE Officer Involved Shooting Investigations regarding local law enforcement agencies.
Michael Morrison Shooting Investigation
Edward Miller Shooting Investigation
Derek Cruice Shooting Investigation
VolusiaExposed.Com holds the opinion that these FDLE shooting investigations are NOT independently investigated, or controlled by FDLE. Rather, we submit, that like standard officer misconduct investigations - FDLE / CJSTC wrongly defaults to the employing agency's investigative determinations regarding their officer's alleged misconduct.
VolusiaExposed.Com can only recall one situation (Michelle O'Connell), whereas the FDLE investigation supported that the subject officer committed murder, while the local agency (SJCSO), concluded that their officer's alleged murder victim committed suicide. So far, the local agency's investigative determination is the accepted conclusion that continues to allow SJCSO Deputy J. Banks to patrol the neighborhoods of St. John's County, Florida.
Ok, now it's time for you, our readers, to decide for yourselves, whether FDLE / CJSTC is properly holding our law enforcement agencies to acceptable ethical standards?
Korossy's Volusia County Sheriff Department Employment Records