Fla. cop fired for offering speeding lawmaker a break

The trooper offered the man a $10 fine in place of a $250 speeding ticket to 'be nice' but the lawmaker complained

By Steve Bousquet
Tampa Bay Times Blogs

TALLAHASSEE — A state trooper who said he was "trying to be nice" stopped a state legislator for speeding on I-10. But instead of writing Rep. Charles McBurney a $250 speeding ticket, the trooper, in his own words, "cut him a break" and offered him a much cheaper alternative of a $10 fine for not having proof of insurance. As a result, he got fired.

McBurney said he was not going 87 miles per hour as Trooper Charles Swindle alleged, and that his cruise control was set at 75. The lawmaker also said he did have proof of insurance, which he said Swindle didn't request. Outraged by the trooper's conduct, the lawmaker complained to Col. David Brierton, head of the Florida Highway Patrol — and last week the FHP fired Swindle for violating department rules, including conduct unbecoming a public employee.

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