Friday, Dec 19, 2014

Two Pinellas County deputies quit amid investigations

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LARGO — Two Pinellas County sheriff’s deputies left the agency earlier this week while they were under investigation in two unrelated cases, authorities say — one was having sex on duty, while the other was having so many problems with his live-in girlfriend that another law enforcement agency was tired of getting dispatched to their apartment.

Cpl. Curtis Kindle, the deputy accused of having sex on duty, voluntarily retired Monday, according to a memorandum. Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said Kindle developed a relationship with a woman who worked at a doctor’s office in Palm Harbor, where he was alleged to have had sex with her while on duty.

The woman told sheriff’s investigators she had sex with Kindle at her condominium in East Lake and one other place, thought she would not specify where, Gualtieri said. Aside from her partial corroboration, investigators had GPS and cell phone records showing Kindle having sex on duty, Gualtieri said.

As with any internal affairs case, a deputy has the right to look at the case file compiled against him before any decision on punishment is made, Gualtieri said. When Kindle came in Monday to review his case, he looked at it and decided to retire, Gualtieri said.

Had Kindle not retired, Gualtieri said he would have fired him.

Deputy Cory Hughes, who lives in Manatee County, came under scrutiny after sheriff’s deputies there were repeatedly dispatched to the apartment where Hughes lived with his girlfriend, and on one occasion they found K-2 Spice, a synthetic form of marijuana, Gualtieri said.

A charge of illegal narcotics possession was forwarded to prosecutors in Manatee, but it could not be proven whether it belonged to Hughes or his girlfriend, Gualtieri said. Hughes was also under investigation for excessive force, but the sheriff said a preliminary review showed Hughes didn’t violate the department’s policy.

Hughes resigned instead of waiting to see what his punishment would be.

sthompson@tampatrib.com. (727) 215-6504.

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