Thursday, March 05, 2015

Rick Scott's New FDLE Chief Won't Investigate Corrupt Cops

Rick Scott abruptly ousted the 35-year career veteran and revered head of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Gerald Bailey, when he refused to do illegal favors for Scott, such as closing investigations on his friends and opening investigations on his enemies. When the scandal broke, (dubbed "Baileygate"), it was so bad that even state leaders in the GOP called for an investigation. (Thank God for Rick that Pam Bondi was elected AG).

So Scott replaced Bailey with a personal friend, Richard Swearingen, who was head of Rick Scott's security detail and was more apt to play ball. So now that ol' Swearingen was sworn in, how are things running at FDLE with his brief tenure?

This should give you an idea:

Earlier this week, the Sentinel reported that an Orlando Police lieutenant — one who specialized in prostitution arrests — had been accused taking nearly $10,000 from a prostitute who said she paid the money "to protect her from getting arrested."

To most people, this looks like a problem. Not, however, to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

After reviewing the woman's complaints — including bank records that showed 17 deposits, totaling $9,500 into an account belonging to Lt. Samuel Riggi — the FDLE concluded: "These allegations do not warrant criminal investigation by FDLE at this time."

The FDLE released a heavily blacked out report on this incident. The local journalist who investigated, Scott Maxwell, said not only did the FDLE not try to get answers, they didn't even interview Lt. Riggi.

It's appalling, I agree. On the other hand, it sounds like Bailey's replacement is more closely aligned to the kind of person Rick Scott is comfortable with.

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