Florida Sheriff's Deputies Fired For Allegedly 'Loafing' On The Job

Here's a lesson for government employees: If you're found slacking, not only can it be really embarrassing when taxpayers find out, it may land you in the unemployment line.

At least that's what happened in a Florida case involving six lawmen in the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office; their names were published in the media after they allegedly were discovered "idling and loafing" for hours while on the job, West Palm Beach TV station WPTV reports. One admitted watching a movie while on duty.

Four of the law enforcement officers, all in their early 40s, were fired. The investigation purportedly revealed that three deputies each spent hundreds of hours loafing, while a sergeant failed to sufficiently supervise two others and was idle while on duty. Two other officers, also in their 40s, were suspended for up to two days for lesser offenses.

The extent to which the officers went in order to goof off is rather astonishing, according to the reports. A six-month investigation by the department showed that some of the officers intentionally hid from supervisors, concealed their police cars, disconnected their GPS units and left assigned areas.

More egregiously, however, the officers were accused of failing to provide law enforcement for hours at a time, though they did respond to calls if dispatched, according to an account of the investigation provided by Sheriff Bob Gualtieri (pictured above).

By failing to perform their duties, Gualtieri said, the loafing sheriff's deputies cost taxpayers nearly $25,000 during the six months -- July 1 through Dec. 31 -- that the investigation took place.

"We believe our findings are a snapshot of what was going on for a longer period of time, Gualtieri said. "This is behavior that will not be tolerated, and they are being held accountable."

Some Fired Officers Cry Foul

Responding to the accusations of deputies loafing and idling in their cars, Sgt. Christopher Metro told St. Petersburg TV station WTSP, "Part of being a good deputy on patrol is watching and observing."

He also claimed that Gualtieri's crackdown was nothing more than an election-year witch hunt. Metro supports Everett Rice, Gualtieri's opponent in an upcoming primary election. That, he added, "doesn't mean I'm not loyal to the sheriff's office." Some of the other fired deputies are also said to support Rice.

For his part, the Sheriff Gualtieri said there was no truth to the accusation that the firings and suspensions were politically motivated, adding, "It's offensive, actually."

The following are the names of the terminated deputies and the sergeant, along with a summary of the charges (via the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office):

Terminated:

Deputy Kenneth L. Burroughs
Hired: 10/1/96
Age: 42
Idling and loafing during July 1 through Dec. 31 amounted to 172 instances, for a total of 285 hours, or 35 eight-hour workdays of inactivity. At his base pay rate, $27.39 an hour, that amounts to $7,807.11 taxpayers lost.

Deputy Robert G. Harmer
Hired: 6/10/90
Age: 42
Idling and loafing time totaled 180 instances, amounting to over 251 hours, or 31 eight-hour work days of inactivity on the job. Taxpayers lost $7,853.48, based on the base pay of $31.29 an hour.

Deputy Samuel Mitchem
Hired: 5/2/94
Age: 42
Idling and loafing time totaled 212 instances, amounting to over 314 hours, or 39 eight-hour work days. Taxpayers lost $9,002.34 based on his base pay of $28.69 an hour.

Sergeant Christopher W. Metro
Hire: 1/13/91
Age: 43
Failure to supervise squad members (including Burroughs and Mitchem), neglecting supervisory responsibilities, failure to use available technology and other tools to monitor staff activities, leaving his area of assignment and idling, going to personal residence, 10 instances in all of idling of at least one hour each, having knowledge of the deputies' idling and failure to act. Admitted to watching a movie while on duty.

Suspended:

Deputy Brian T. Clark
Hired: 4/27/98
Age: 40
Suspended for a day for lack of self-initiated activity, about four instances of idling.

Robert J. Wojciechowski
Hired: 12/1/86
Age: 46
Two-day suspension for lack of self-initiated activity, failure to have GPS repaired, about four instances of idling.





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Buddy Last

watching what beautiful girls in bikinis and Elvis movies while a crook runs down the street with a stolen TV on his back.but not as bad as a tn cop who received ******** while on duty from a porn star he had stopped talk about loafing on the job lol.but another tn cop out done him he put a not disturb sign on his patrol car window while sleeping by a creek bank.ask why he did it he said a nap refreshed him so he could be ready for anything that came up lol.he admitted to sleeping 2 hours every day while on duty.

July 11 2012 at 10:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
William

WOW WHAT EARTH SHAKING NEWS, "LOAFING ON THE JOB, HELL FIRE THE WHOLE US WORK FORCE IF YOU WANT TO KNIT PICK. I KNEW GUYS ON THE CITY , ON THE PAYROLL FOR 30 YRS, THAT NEVER SHOWED UP . BUT THE CHECKS WERE PICKED UP ON THE DOT. THESE GUYS MUST HAVE PISSED SOME BOSS OFF NO END, CIAO

May 28 2012 at 10:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ishtar9200

i hope this will make all cops say hell with it im not asitting ill justcruise and waste it that way and not observe any crime ill just drive by. most cops sit idle and end up catching crime. but as for disconnecting the gps, this is where they messed up. it will be noticed right away like a red flag going up one unit is missing. why didnt they ever use the trunk radio systems capability or keying up the officers in question radios from the dispatch console? oh wait its not set up a half ass tech team they should be fired, and for installing gps easily accessed to disable. how about video recording and audio? oh wait supervisors and existing sheriffs half arse install ideas to save money, well let our boys turn it on anytime or off anytime. but there is never police corruption. where they did mess up this still smells of politics.

May 16 2012 at 5:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ishtar9200's comment
pwedstock

There was apparently some idling and corruption among English teachers where you went to school. I think some people work harder to appear "keyboard cool" (half-literate) than they would if they just went ahead and typed their comment.

May 26 2012 at 1:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rriojas71

From the news reports it seems like the deputies in this case were Anglo. So where are all the racist trolls that usually come on here to post comments about "lazy" minorities taking taxpayer dollars? Funny how they all run and hide when faced with the truth. Lazy comes in all colors.

May 16 2012 at 2:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rriojas71's comment
LONNIE

I'll say it, Lazy ass white men and any other race involved. I just find it ironic that you assume all minorities have ethnic names. George Zimmerman is part hispanic and black. One of my friends who is black is named Timothy Wells. I also know a James E. Smith-black. Sounds like maybe you are a profiler!!

May 16 2012 at 2:53 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
rriojas71

From the news reports it seems like the deputies in this case were Anglo. So where are all the racist trolls that usually come on here to post comments about "lazy" minorities taking taxpayer dollars? Funny how they all run and hide when faced with the truth. Lazy comes in all colors.

May 16 2012 at 2:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Charles

You could repeat this story in any city in the country. They should add a story about how cops who can't pass a fitness exam stay on the force and on the street.

May 06 2012 at 7:24 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Charles's comment
LONNIE

They should add to your smart ass remarks that every law enforcement office has a very hard time finding people to do this type of work. Have you done it? Would you do it? If not-shut the hell up or go to work in law enforcement.

May 16 2012 at 2:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DEE DEE

let's not forget , that GOVT is "dumbing" down the test process for police, firefighters etc etc. which leaves openings for Losers to get into positions like this.

May 21 2012 at 1:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lagik

this is a good example of why not to raise taxes,
so much waste & fraud, no productivity,
bet the department needs more money for its budget!

May 06 2012 at 3:51 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Mike

Trying to give people (the officers) the benefit of the doubt, but with the job market like it is I wouldn't give anyone the ammunition to fire me. Ten people waiting to take every job out there so go above and beyond to protect your gig.

May 06 2012 at 3:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Mike's comment
LONNIE

In most jobs that is true but would you join the law enforcement ranks? This is not a normal job situation. The turn over rate of just the hiring is specialized and not that many can do it much less not that many even apply for it. You ar eright about not giving them a reason but this story kind of smells a bit stinky.

May 16 2012 at 3:07 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
dgr68

All of these deputies where veterans and in their forties. I wonder if that had something to do with it.I would look into age discrimination. Their replacements will be 10 to 15 years younger and paid less.

May 06 2012 at 3:37 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dgr68's comment
LONNIE

Sounds a bit more political than age.

May 16 2012 at 3:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mhulsey190

Fire em all. They are just a bunch of fat bubba's that like to carry guns.

May 06 2012 at 3:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to mhulsey190's comment
LONNIE

Yeah, then you can go there and help protect the people and get paid for it. It would be a great job for a blowhard to do. I am sure you are the perfect specimen of all humans.

May 16 2012 at 3:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ishtar9200

and your a fat bubba that carries one too but lacksthe badge

May 16 2012 at 5:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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