LCSO Deputy Demoted for Skipping Work to Golf

Ryan Bell, formerly a lieutenant with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, got in trouble when he called in sick to work, but was then found hitting golf balls at the range. He explained that he was, in fact, not well, and that he was trying to “sweat out the sickness.” He was demoted to deputy, which entails a substantial pay cut.

I’m going to take Deputy Bell’s side on this one. I’ve had days when I got sick, but wasn’t bed ridden. As a golfer, I know that a visit to the range is far less strenuous than a round of golf. Shouldn’t he get some fresh air? For that matter, who’s to say he wasn’t sick? They are always saying that we should stay home when we get a virus, so as not to infect our coworkers. His job in law enforcement is a dangerous one, and he probably should not be on duty if he is not feeling 100%, or is taking medication. Is the message to fight through your illness no matter what? That’s not a fair blanket policy, and hitting a few balls at the range in the afternoon doesn’t mean that Bell wasn’t sick at 3:46 a.m. when he emailed his supervisor. It looks bad that he was playing golf, but to get whacked with such a major demotion seems awfully harsh.

Ryan Bell when he was with major crimes:


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