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Fired Trooper Who Went Easy On Lawmakers Deserves No Punishment, Lawyer Says

The lawyer for a Florida Highway Patrol Trooper fired after he went easy on state lawmakers, says the punishment suggested for the officer is too steep. A hearing officer ruled the trooper should keep his job but recommended a 15-day suspension without pay.

Trooper Charles Swindle should keep his job without any punishment, his lawyer, Sidney Matthew, wrote in a brief he filed Thursday.

Swindle was fired for letting two state lawmakers go without speeding tickets, instead giving them “false” citations for not showing proof of insurance.

Hearing officer Gregg Morton ruled, there was cause for the firing, but Swindle should be reinstated because he was just following an unspoken Highway Patrol policy to go easy on lawmakers.

Matthew said, the agency did not prove the lawmakers had proof of insurance because he was not given a chance to interview them.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has a week to file its own brief in response. The Florida Public Employees Relations Commission then has a month to make a final ruling in the case.