This week, a couple of stories that should cause anyone critically thinking to see that those wearing badges aren’t always operating with the best intentions.
Former Arcadia official arrested for embezzlement
Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement arrested the former City Marshal of Arcadia for taking $151,100 from city accounts over the course of five years.
Charles Junior Lee, 47, of Arcadia, is charged with one count of Scheme to Defraud, one count of Grand Theft over $100,000 and one count of Official Misconduct.
The FDLE started their investigation May 21, 2013 – the day after Lee resigned – after the Assistant City Marshal reported suspicious transactions involving checks Lee had allegedly written.
An audit allegedly showed Lee was writing checks to himself from three police department checking accounts.
FDLE agents who searched Lee’s former office say they found information on checks and receipts that did not match, as well as several completed checks that had not yet been issued, but were backdated to 2011 and 2012.
Investigators believe Lee wrote those checks to cover up his theft.
Agents also reviewed bank records, which they say showed Lee wrote himself 207 checks from police department accounts from 2006 to 2011. Investigators say the checks ranged in value from $200 to $3,000.
The FDLE was not able to get check images prior to 2006. Since Lee was elected City Marshal in 2001, they say there could have been even more checks Lee wrote to himself in that period where no records are available.
Agents say of the $151,100 taken, only $6,100 might have been used on legitimate expenses related to the police department. They’re unable to account for the other $145,000
Lee allegedly told FDLE agents in an interview on July 11th that he started misusing the funds in about 2006 to “maintain his standard of living.”
When he learned of a pending audit, Lee allegedly said he tried to create fictitious documents to cover up for the theft.
Lee was booked into the DeSoto County Jail on a $41,500 bond.
Cop accused of kicking handcuffed suspect in the head
Houston Police Officer Garrett Lindley was placed on indefinite suspension by the police department in July and now has been indicted by a grand jury on a misdemeanor charge of official oppression.
Nicole DeBorde, Lindley’s attorney, said, “Yes, he (denies kicking that person.) He didn’t hurt anyone. He was trying to help fellow officers and that’s it.”
Eric Faltesek was under arrest for DWI in January. He’d refused a breathalyzer test and was ignoring officer commands in a room at 61 Riesner. Police say they were trying to get his fingerprint on a warrant so that they could properly document a blood draw. Officer Jorge Roman says that’s when Faltesek became combative.
Roman says Faltesek ended up on the ground, still handcuffed to the bench. Roman was trying to subdue him when he says Lindley kicked Faltesek in the face.
Faltesek says he was on his knees and defenseless, describing the kick as a “stomping motion.”
“I got kicked in the mouth and that’s where the blood came out,” he testified. “Y’all’s officers think they can treat anybody any way they want.”
The alleged assault was reported not by Faltesek, but by that other officer who was arresting him.
Faltesek was convicted of the DWI and served 75 days in jail.
That’s this week’s Police Accountability Report brought to you by CopBlock.org. I hope you’ll take a moment to consider just what it is that you are paying for via taxation – and speak out against the corruption. Until next week, stay safe and remember that badges don’t grant extra rights.