Tag Archives: perjury

What’s Going on with CCSO?

ccso-badgeTwo veteran deputies were fired this week from the Charlotte County Sheriff’s office, and Sheriff Prummel commented at his press conference that they should have known better in light of their many years on the force. I was talking about the cases today with an associate, and I was reminded that there was also a case not long ago that involved stalking-related allegations.

Eric Ireland

Former CCSO Deputy Eric Ireland

Just a year ago, CCSO Deputy Eric Ireland was fired after his arrest for Official Misconduct and Perjury. He was accused by his ex-girlfriend of planting drugs on her husband, after several stalking-type behaviors that caused her to break off the affair. The story is really crazy, it’s worth clicking through for the backstory. I checked the system, and it appears that Mr. Ireland accepted a plea deal to misdemeanor perjury charge and avoided a felony conviction.

One of the allegations against against Anthony Nardi involved “potential stalking” of an off-and-on girlfriend: using the DAVID Florida Driver Database to look into men she may have been seeing. They have GPS tracking his whereabouts and the ex ultimately filed a trespass warning to keep him away from her house.

That constitutes a second creepy, stalker-like episode with another CCSO Deputy. Sheriff Prummell decried the “rash of stupid” at the force, but when it’s multiple deputies doing similar things over a period of time, there is concern that it’s not a rash, but a pattern. I commend Sheriff Prummell for acting decisively and terminating each of these troublemakers. The best way to discourage improper behavior is to show, in no uncertain terms, what standards deputies are expected to meet, and that there is no tolerance for lawbreakers.

Fired CCSO Deputy may have Planted Drugs on his Lover’s Husband

Former CCSO Deputy Eric Ireland

Former CCSO Deputy Eric Ireland

The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office arrested, and quickly terminated, former deputy Eric Ireland and charged him with Official Misconduct and Perjury. The police reports have been released, and the allegations are even crazier than the charges indicated.

According to reports, a man who turned out to be the husband of the woman Eric Ireland was having an affair with was arrested for drug possession in Fort Myers on August 13. On August 20, the woman, Sara*, contacted the Charlotte County Sheriff’s office to say that she believed that then-deputy Ireland had planted drugs on her husband, leading to the arrest, and CCSO quickly began an investigation. When they contacted detectives in Fort Myers, red flags went up pretty quickly.

Fort Myers detectives stopped and searched the husband based on information they received from Deputy Ireland, which he had claimed came from a confidential informant. But Detectives thought it was weird when he called them back asking that his name be kept out of the paperwork.

CCSO investigators kept digging, and more and more holes appeared in the story. First, Ireland denied being present for the investigation; claiming to be in Charlotte County. But FMPD Detectives saw a black Mercedes circling the area of the stop, and saw the driver of the car laughing in a child-like manner (that’s what the report says… I picture peals of maniacal laughter). Ireland initially denied that he knew anything about the car, but a couple of Fort Myers detectives were able to identify him as the driver.

Ireland also denied knowing who was involved with the stop, and later denied that he know Sara. She told investigators that they started dating a while back, and had had a sexual relationship, and that he exhibited disturbing behavior: showing up where she worked, where her kid went to school, and even making traffic stops on people she knew. She ultimately broke off the relationship because her husband was getting out of prison, and she wanted to try to reestablish her marriage. But Ireland kept up the contact, and even asked to borrow the husband’s truck a few weeks earlier.

Investigators talked to Ireland, and he kept lying about his involvement with teh case. Investigators also made controlled phone calls with the assistance of Sara, wherein he admitted to lying to investigators, and told Sara another set of lies to try to make it look like he had nothing to do with the arrest. The husband vehemently and consistently denied any knowledge of the drugs when he was arrested. Ireland apparently had the motive, the access to the truck where the drugs were found, and specific knowledge of the location of the drugs, based on the information he gave FMPD.

There is substantial evidence suggesting that he planted the drugs, but probably not enough to prove it in court. However, once the information became known, prosecutors dropped the charges against the husband, though he had already spent 10 days in jail at that point. It will be tough for Ireland to be charged with anything else related to the drugs will make it tough for drug charges to be filed, though he could potentially face a civil rights charge like former LCSO deputy Michael Ronga. Also disturbing is a report that another woman has complained that Ireland was stalking her while he was on duty.

I do commend the CCSO office for taking quick, decisive action to try to make right the fact that one of their own was breaking the law, and to get the wrongly arrested man out of jail as quickly as possible. Public trust in law enforcement is at an historical low, and high-profile local cases, such as the FMPD police chief’s dishonesty and the Ronga case further decay our trust in law enforcement. That’s why accountability and transparency are paramount to rebuild the trust.

*We decided not to publish her, or her husband’s, last name

Charlotte County Deputy Arrested (and Fired)

Few details available so far, but Charlotte county Deputy has been arrested for perjury… and subsequently fired from his job. Hopefully there will be more details soon.

How Much of our Money did the Barry Bonds Fiasco Cost?

7-time NL MVP Barry Bonds

Acquitted Obstructionist Barry Bonds

Barry Bonds, whose appeals are finally over after his conviction was reversed, cost American taxpayers a pretty penny. Bonds was prosecuted federally, so we are all paying: this was not a local jurisdictional exercise. This was a substantial expenditure by the United States government. The notice filed yesterday that the government would not attempt to appeal the case to the Supreme Court effectively ends the case, and avoids any additional cost. However, the cost of that final appeal would have been a drop in the bucket of the total cost of prosecuting this case.

Estimates back in 2009 put the cost of the trial at around $6 million. But the trial was the culmination of many years of investigation, whose tally was estimated several years back to be from $55 million up to $100 million. I have not been able to find any more recent estimates, nor any estimates that include the ongoing appellate tally, which included the original appeal, then the larger panel appellate rehearing which finally reversed the one charge of which Bonds was convicted. The Roger Clemens trial may have cost another $10 million or more. That’s a lot of money which was ultimately put toward proving cheating in baseball. While it may be the national pastime; it is not a public interest that needs a government referee (or umpire). The conclusion of Bonds’ case may finally have put an end to this costly undertaking. An undertaking whose bill was paid by U.S. taxpayers.

The Barry Bonds Case is Finally Over

The specious prosecution of Barry Bonds has wound down to an anticlimactic conclusion. Just a little while ago, the Justice Department filed notice that they would not be seeking Supreme Court review of the appellate court decision that overturned Bond’s conviction. That means they are not seeking further appeal, and the case is effectively dismissed.

The government went after Bonds not for using steroids, but for obstruction of justice for not giving them straight answers when questioned by federal agents. He went to trial, and was only convicted of one count, specifically for a meandering answer he gave that was not directly responsive to the question. Ironically, he already served the sentence, which involved house arrest instead of incarceration.

A similar prosecution against Roger Clemens led to not guilty verdicts at trial, though some non-baseball players were not as fortunate. Track star Marion Jones was sentenced to 6 months jail after entering a plea for lying in her steroid investigation. As is often the case, the cover up is worse than the offense. Remember, if federal agents come calling, call a lawyer right away, even if you have nothing to hide!

Are Police Officers Incentivized to Lie?

This opinion article in the New York Times suggests that they are. Even if there is not direct inducement, there are no ramifications for officers if they lie, and the system encourages numbers and, as we’ve discussed recently on Crimcourts, forfeitures of property. The system is set up to encourage arrests, and not as the old adage implies, to protect and serve. While I don’t think the majority of cops are liars, you see it with some frequency in a criminal practice. It’s not just drug cases, but even little things like traffic tickets. And misjudged priorities and a lack of accountability can compound the problem. Again, more cameras will help demonstrate the truth and be better for everybody.

Barry Bonds Conviction Upheld

The Ninth Circuit Court has upheld the Federal conviction of Barry Bonds for obstruction of justice. Bonds will now have to serve his sentence, which is only some house arrest followed by probation. He was acquitted of related perjury charges. This minor conviction is still notable as one of the few steroid related cases to actually result in a conviction. Most famously, Roger Clemens was acquitted of all charges in the perjury prosecution he faced related to his alleged steroid use.

Just an update on Lenny Dykstra, who wasn’t so lucky and was sentenced to three years in prison… he’s out as of a few weeks ago. Hope Nails can turn it around, but he kind of seems like a jerk.

Busy week at the office, I’ll try to get updates on Gonzalez soon for those who haven’t been able to follow. It didn’t finish today, and will continue into Saturday.