A Pinellas County (Florida) Sheriff's Office deputy has been fired after an investigation revealed inappropriate off-duty conduct.
“He stated 'I’m an idiot,'" Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said. "I agree he is an idiot for doing this."
According to a Pinellas County Sheriff's Office Inter-Office Memorandum, Deputy Brian Britt, was fired on Monday, October 16.
The investigation revealed that Britt pursued a female suspect he had recently arrested.
According to the investigation, in December of 2016 Britt was dispatched to a home in reference to a request to locate and arrest an 18-year-old woman who was wanted on a charge of domestic battery.
The woman answered the door wearing only a towel. Britt followed the female suspect into the home as she retrieved her identification. He followed her into a bathroom in the home and witnessed a second female that he described as "naked" in a shower. The suspect was positively identified and Britt placed her under arrest, handcuffed her and escorted her to the patrol vehicle.
Britt transported the female suspect to a secondary location to wait for a prisoner transport van. During that time, the investigation revealed that Britt removed the handcuffs from the suspect and left her unrestrained until the prisoner transportation van arrived. According to the investigation, Britt engaged in flirtatious conversation, revealed personal information about himself, including financial status and the location of his personal residence.
Britt admitted during his testimony that "small talk included me talking too much about my private life."
The investigation revealed that Britt contacted the female suspect minutes after her release the next day. He used his department cell phone to talk to her and reportedly told her that he cared about her feelings and he genuinely felt that in some way, she was probably arrested for something that didn't happen. He admitted to continuing to talk to the female suspect via text messaging and that his texts were flirtatious in nature.
During one of the conversations, Britt reportedly inquired about the other girl he saw in the shower during the arrest. He invited both teens to come to his home and he would pay them $100 each for a one hour visit, according to the Sheriff. The investigation revealed that the teenagers were told they would visit for "conversation."
When the women arrived at the home, Britt said both teenagers showed signs of impairment and he admitted that he was impaired at the time. He invited the teens into the home where the lights were dimmed, candles were lit and he engaged in conversation about the female suspect engaging in "fetishes" requested by clients for compensation.
The female suspect referred to Britt as a client and at some point during the conversation, Britt attempted to rub the woman's thigh. She became angry, stating that they only came to the house for "conversation." Britt told the teenagers he wasn't going to pay for "conversation."
When the female suspect and her friend were visiting, Britt's 11-year-old daughter was asleep in the home.
The women expressed that they were angry for coming all the way from New Port Richey to St. Petersburg after he reportedly told them he just wanted conversation and then said he wasn't going to pay them. He gave the girls gas from a can at his house to compensate for their travel and they left his home, even though he thought they were impaired.
Britt later texted the female suspect to apologize for his actions. He testified that he invited the girls to his home because he was drinking, depressed and he wanted "interaction."
The Administrative Review Board found that Britt failed to demonstrate responsibility and his duty to maintain a standard of conduct in his personal and professional life which is ethical. He also failed to adhere to the principles of and to display the degree of integrity through the law enforcement code of ethics established by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. Britt admitted to both violations.
Watch the press conference with Sheriff Bob below: