06/02/2006

Fla. deputy fired for filming girls in bikinis

The Associated Press

STUART, Fla. — A Martin County sheriff's review board found just cause in the firing of a former deputy who was relieved of duty for using his patrol car's dashboard-mounted camera to film bikini-clad girls at the beach.

Jack Munsey was fired Jan. 30 after an internal investigation found his behavior was not criminal but violated department policies. Munsey had sought reinstatement.

The panel took just four minutes Wednesday to determine his firing was justified.

The daylong hearing included testimony about two previous investigations involving Munsey, including one in 1997 when he used a department computer to view pornography on the Internet while on duty. He was suspended for a week. In 2004, he was suspended after he totaled a patrol car while speeding on his way to work.

Munsey's attorney Larry Fagan called the videotaping a brief lapse in judgment that should not warrant termination.

"This is something that will follow him forever," Fagan told the panel.

Munsey declined to comment after the hearing.

Sheriff Robert Crowder said Munsey likely will not lose his law enforcement certification that could get him a job elsewhere.

"He's not a bad guy, but I think his judgment perhaps was flawed and maybe he's learned from this, and maybe he'd be able to work somewhere where this wouldn't be held over his head," Crowder said.

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