Wrongful Use of Police Searches Results in Termination

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On March 3 Sheriff Kevin Rambosk notified Cpl. Peter Deffet of his termination effective February 28. It was found out that Cpl. Peter Deffet was running names using the Driving and Vehicle Information Database (D.A.V.I.D.). The system provides information meant for law enforcement purposes. With D.A.V.I.D., one can get drivers’ personal information, including addresses, driving history, and vehicle information.

The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) notified the Office of the Sheriff that Deffet used D.A.V.I.D. to get info on Attorney General Pam Bondi.  The latter’s office had filed a request to get a list of individuals who have searched her name without valid law enforcement purpose. While that was still being investigated, another claim against Deffet came out in the open. NBC-2 anchor Heather Turco had stated that Deffet also search her name using D.A.V.I.D. between October 2011 and October 2013 for a total of 8 times.

With such allegations, the internal investigators became suspicious and ran a more intensive report on the number of searches Deffet has run over the years. It was then found out that from January 2010 until October 2013 Deffet had searched names of 151 individuals. The list includes 15 celebrities or public figures, 13 local public employees, and 123 members or relatives of the Sheriff’s Office. Some of the famous names that are included in the list are NBC-2 anchor Lindsay Logue, Gov. Rick Scott, John Travolta and wife Kelly Preston, Terry “Hulk” Hogan, and many more.

The personal use of D.A.V.I.D. violates one of the Sheriff’s Office policies thus leading to Deffet’s termination. Now, Deffet’s attorney, Benjamin Yormak, will take legal action to take Deffet back to the force since according to him no one was harmed or victimized. Cpl. Peter Deffet is an 18-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office and never got into trouble since 2007 – when he was speeding on Collier Boulevard on his way home.

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