Forget doughnuts and cops. In Sarasota County, it's 'rum and cop' or 'Jack and cop' or maybe even a 'shot and a cop.'
Former deputy, Clinton Knowles, has filed a federal lawsuit to recover attorney's fees and, if there's anything left over, for back wages and 'other financial compensation,' which might mean paying $4oo (the going rate for police payouts on the Suncoast) to the two women Knowles grabbed at a North Port Applebee's in Feb., 2008, only ONE DAY after being reinstated to full-duty status.
According to the lawsuit, Knowles was disciplined Oct. 24, 2007, for failing to report to duty and admitted to his bosses that he had such a problem with alcohol "that it affected his ability to do his work and had directly caused his failing to report to two assigned shifts." Now, not showing up for work for a couple days and telling the boss it's because you were shit-faced, usually means you've collected your last check from that place. Well, maybe not if you're a Congressman or a televangelist or something of that ilk. But to us mere mortals, it's the door hitting us on the ass on the way out, for sure.
Even before that, though, the lawsuit states that "he was regarded by his chain of command and colleagues as an alcoholic." You mean everybody knew this guy was a drunk and they still let him serve on THE SWAT TEAM?? Not the softball team, mind you, THE SWAT TEAM; that highly-skilled, highly-trained unit armed with high-power weaponry called in on high pressure situations that regular law enforcement can't handle. And he was high?
So they take this guy out of service for four months, then let him back on THE SWAT TEAM without him ever pursuing any outside intervention. Just because he said he was OK, I guess.
Except that the very next day, he gets lit up, goes to the North Port Applebee's to play grabass with two women, refuses to go to the police station to make a statement and doesn't even remember the incident because: "He had a blackout and has no memory of the incident." You mean that works?
In addition to what the lawyer's fees and whatever piddling amount that's left over for Knowles, his lawsuit states that he wants an order requiring the sheriff to "provide reasonable accommodation to deputy sheriffs suffering from alcoholism."
You mean there's more out there?
Collecting paychecks from the taxpayers?
Driving around on our streets in police cruisers?
6:00 AM roll call at the Sarasota County Sheriff's Department