The VCSO Deputy Willard situation. Was this situation properly processed / investigated by VCSO?
Updated April 15, 2011
"Most police corruption is to look the other way, and to protect someone -- not to do jobs"- Joseph King
On January 19, 2011 a female arrestee alleged that she had been sexually groped by a VCSO reserve deputy (Deputy Willard). Deputy Willard had retired from the VCSO a few years back and had returned to duty as a reserve deputy.
Reserve Deputies are used to transport new arrestees from VCSO sub-stations to the Volusia County jail. This is exactly what Deputy Willard was doing on January 19, 2011, when the female arrestee alleged that he inappropriately groped her. Due to her allegations, the VCSO opened an internal review of the allegations - shortly after the start of the investigation, Deputy Willard committed suicide. We invite our readers to read the below local media accounts regarding this situation.
We here at VolusiaExposed.Com have reviewed the below documents surrounding the allegations submitted by the female arrestee. Our review raised several disturbing questions / concerns regarding the VCSO investigation into Deputy Willard's conduct.
First concern - Why didn't the VCSO follow proper procedures in conducting their review of Deputy Willard's alleged misconduct?
Obviously, Deputy Willard admits to several violations of VCSO policies (see below transcript) - but why did VCSO investigators compound the problem by failing to follow their own policies regarding how to receive and investigate a civilian complaint?
Per VCSO policy, a civilian complainant shall file a notarized written complaint. Below, we submit both a copy of this complaint form, as well as a copy of VCSO policies regarding civilian complaints.Why didn't VCSO staff require the complainant file a notarized written statement / complaint form?
Second concern - VolusiaExposed.Com has some concerns regarding VCSO Investigator Graves' lack of professionalism in interviewing the civilian complainant. We have highlighted the sections of the transcript of this interivew where we believe Investigator Graves was less than professional. After reading the below transcribed questioning of the complainant by Investigator Graves - we request that you ask yourself - did Investigator Graves initially swear the complainant in? - was it appropriate for Investigator Graves to advise the complainant that she would be struck by lightning if she lied? - was it appropriate for Investigator Graves to refer to the complainant as "sweetie"? - Was it appropriate for Investigator Graves to ask the complainant if she saw "Boogy men"? (see yellow highlighted areas of below transcript)
Third concern - We find both Sgt. Morgan's, as well as Investigator Graves' reports lacking. Both reports appear to focus on irrelevant facts about the complainant, at the same time ignoring obvious facts pertaining to the complainant's allegations.
Examples are as follows:
1. The apparent argument made by the VCSO that the trip time from the county gas pumps to the county jail was within an acceptable time limit. What has that got to do with whether Deputy Willard committed acts of misconduct prior to leaving the gas pumps?
2. The position (see Sgt. Morgan's report) that the complainant was "uncooperative" to the arresting deputy (Deputy Gaeta). How was she "uncooperative"? Deputy Gaeta states that she was "uncooperative" because she wasn't acting in a normal frame of mind (see page 2 of Gaeta's trancript). However, Deputy Gaeta testifies that the complainant complied with his questions (see page 6 - Gaeta transcript) and complied with his instructions (see page 10 - Gaeta transcipt). How much more cooperative could she have been? - Maybe, if this is the VCSO's definition of being "uncooperative" - the public might need to factor that in the next time the VCSO tasers a man (that later dies) for being "uncooperative"(see the below media article on the tasering death of Adam Disalvo).
We believe that both VCSO Sgt. Morgan's and Investigator Graves' investigations are of such a low professional caliber that serious ethical / credibilty questions should be attached to their investigative conclusions. Recently, the Orlando Police Department had some serious allegations placed against one of their officers (Ofc. Candelaria). In 2006, Officer Candelaria was awarded the Governor Medal of Honor for his bravery in rescuing a family from a fire. However, in our opinion, Orlando Police Department conducted a detailed, fair and professional investigation regarding some serious allegations against Officer Candelaria. We invite you to read the below investigative documents on the Orlando PD investigation on Officer Candelaria - notice how Orlando secured a written complaint - notice the professionlism in their interview and investigative process. Did Orlando investigators threaten the complainant with a lightning strike? Did the Orlando investigators ask the complainant if he "saw boggy men"?..etc.....etc...etc...
VolusiaExposed.Com has further concerns that the manner of how the VCSO handled the Deputy Willard matter is just one of many examples of how VCSO Senior investigative staff possibly manipulates criminal investigations.
Investigator Graves was involved (with VCSO Investigator Campanella) in the 2009 in-custody jail death of Tracy Veira - a 28 year old mother of two - we ask you to review the documents in her death and then ask yourself - were documents falsified by jail staff? - did Investigator Campanella initially detect an inconsistency between the obivious state of decomp of Ms. Veira's body and the jail's records of last seeing her alive? - Did Campenella follow up on these concerns, or address them in his final investigative report?