The Deputy Scott Flesch situation

Was his termination more to the benefit of Sheriff Johnson's political agenda, then to the benefit of the taxpayers of Volusia County?

Were some of the charges against Deputy Flesch manufactured by law enforcement officials?

Was his termination consistent with past practices?

May 29, 2012
"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."- John Adams


In this particular case, the Scott Flesch matter, VolusiaExposed.Com has mixed views.

While Deputy Flesch exhibited alleged behaviors, that should be unacceptable to someone with his law enforcement responsibilities. The bottom line is that these were "alleged" behaviors, many of which were never even proven in a court of law, and probably were not properly sustained during the VCSO internal affairs investigation, and most disturbing over all, were most probably falsified by other law enforcement officers.

VolusiaExposed.Com supports that proper disciplinary action (up to termination) be applied to any and ALL law enforcement officers that exhibit the behaviors (and illegal) activities that the DBPD and VCSO has alleged that Mr. Flesch is guilty of.

Where we draw the line, is when a case is fabricated against anyone. In this instance, we suspect that officials from both the DBPD, as well as from the VCSO, fabricated and / or manipulated evidence (or knowingly allowed such evidence to be introduced as factual) against Mr. Flesch.

While we have no doubt that Mr. Flesch was very sucessful in digging himself into a rather deep hole, in which both disciplinary and corrective actions were undoubtly called for, we question whether DBPD and VCSO officials falsified evidence and events to make the "hole" appear to be much deeper than it actually was.

We shall explore some of our concerns and questions regarding the Deputy Flesch incident, and investigation. In the end, we ask you, our readers, to determine which is more concerning to you - the actions of Mr. Flesch during the December 2010 incident, or the actions of both DBPD and VCSO officials during the investigation and prosecution of their termination case against Deputy Flesch?

First, let's examine the particular administrative charges against Deputy Flesch, as listed in the Sheriff department's Notice of Internal Investigation and Notice of Termination notices to Deputy Flesch.(Document is available for review to the right of this page)

The charges and possible penalties are as follows:

VCSO Policy - 26.2.130 COMMISSION OF FELONY - Department personnel shall not committ any act or crime defined by state or federal law as a felony, whether chargeable or not. (Violation subject to dismissal)

VCSO policy - 26.2.129 MISDEMEANOR INJURIOUS TO THE DEPARTMENT - Department personnel shall adhere to all federal, state and local laws and shall not commit any act or crime defined as a misdemeanor.... (Violation subject to dismissal)

COUNTY MERIT RULE - 86-453(13) - Any conduct, on or off duty, that reflects unfavorably on the county as an employer. (Oral reprimand to Termination)
VolusiaExposed will not be addressing MR 86-453(13) since it is repetitive to other alleged violations
Documents associated with
Deputy Scott Flesch

Notice of Internal Investigation

Report of Investigation

Intent to Terminate

Notice of Termination

Did Deputy Flesch commit a felony, in violation of State Statutes and VCSO Policy - 26.2.130?
VolusiaExposed.Com attended and video taped the entire May 8, 2012 Personnel Board Hearing regarding Deputy Flesch.

It was clear that the alleged felony violation that the VCSO was attempting to prove, was the allegation that Deputy Flesch attempted to Flee and Elude two Daytona Beach Police officers (Ofc. Martin and Kulenek). Assistant County Attorney Mary Jolley stated so, in her opening statement.

So did Deputy Flesch really commit the felony of fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer? Well let's examine some video testimony from DBPD Ofc. Kulenek. In the below 143 second video clip of her testimony, she admits that she was not in legal pursuit of Deputy Flesch. She further admits, that immediately after she got behind Deputy Flesch, that he pulled over at the next available safe location. Does that meet the definition of felony fleeing and eluding? We think not, sounds like a false arrest to us, what say you?

But the manipulation and falsification by DBPD officials does not stop there. Even though it was Ofc. Kulenek that pulled Deputy Flesch over, Ofc. S. Martin of the DBPD actually filed the charge of fleeing and eluding against Deputy Flesch. Ofc. Martin had no first hand observations or knowledge of whether Deputy Flesch actually committed the offense, we know this because he (Martin) states so in his sworn testimony to the personnel board.

There is further evidence in both Ofc. Kulenek and Martin testimonies that indicate that the Fleeing and Eluding charge was filed in retaliation for Deputy Flesch's refusal to submit to DUI testing and / or his demeanor during the arrest. These types of false charges by police officers are commonly referred to as "piss off the police" (POP) charges. The officers' complete testimony can be viewed at the below linked web page.

Click here - All videos attached to the Deputy Scott Flesch May 8, 2012 Personnel Board hearing

So, are we the public, left to believe that Deputy Flesch's behaviors were so inappropriate that he should be terminated from the VCSO, but that Ofc. Martin's and Kulenek's falsification and manipulation of the documents and criminal charges are honorable law enforcement characteristics?

Ironically, while Deputy Flesch was admittingly drunk during the incident, and therefore a physical danger to the entire public, we note a much larger concern. The actions of the DBPD that day were far more dangerous to public liberty, then Deputy Flesch's actions were a danger to public safety. We believe that both Ofc. Martin's and Kulenek's testimonies at the Personnel Board indicated that they knowingly falsified charge(s) and documents against Deputy Flesch. Such police actions, and the county's willingness to embrace them as the rationale to terminate Deputy Flesch, causes many of us here at VolusiaExposed.Com to hold on tight to our copy of the U.S. Constitution, in the particular, the U.S. Bill of Rights.

VolusiaExposed.Com suspects that we will probably be hearing for DBPD Chief Chitwood, in similar Chitwood fashion, as he did when Circuit Court Judge Joseph Will challenged the veracity of two other Daytona Beach police officers. (see below - Chief Chitwood's letter to Judge Will)

Chief Chitwood's letter to Judge Will

Here is our message to Chief Chitwood - Chief, prior to writing us about "taking umbrage" to our comments, or prior to referring to us as "scumbags", can we ask that you review your own letter to Judge Will, and then provide us with a response. Does your department "condone officers fabricating evidence, falsifiying police reports, lying in court or lying during internal proceedings"? If not, can you explain or justify Officer Kulenek's or Martin's testimony at the personnel board, compared to their actions during Deputy Flesch's arrest?

In the end, our review of the records, the testimonies and the lack of the legal elements required to support a felony charge of fleeing and eluding, indicates to us that the charge was most probably filed as a "POP" charge, in retaliation against Deputy Flesch. That in the end, the charge of fleeing and eluding was improperly, and most probably illegally filed. Such is probably the rationale why the State Attorney failed to pursuit it.

Four second video clip
County Attorney Mary Jolly in her opening statement, assuring the Personnel Board, that the evidence will support that Deputy Flesch fled and eluded law enforcement officers.

99 second video clip
Ofc. Kulenek prior sworn disposition is inconsistent with her Personnel Board testimony.

143 second video clip
Daytona Beach Police Officer Kulenek testifies that she was not in legal pursuit of Deputy Flesch, that upon her getting behind him with lights and sirens, he immediately pulled over to the nearest safe spot, but despite these facts, Flesch was still charged with the felony of fleeing and eluding. WOW !!!

DBPD Ofc. Sterling Martin testifies
Ofc. Martin denies that the fleeing and eluding charge was filed in response to Flesch's demeanor (POP charge). Further, Ofc. Martin admits that he was the charging officer, absent any personal observation of the alleged offending criminal behavior.

Did Deputy Flesch commit a misdemeanor injurious to the department, in violation VCSO policy - 26.2.129 ?
Deputy Flesch's attorney clears the air on this immediately in his opening statement. He admits that his client, Deputy Scott Flesch was drunk the night of his arrest. So therefore, we know, Deputy Scott Flesch was driving while intoxicated. DUI is generally a misdemeanor, so yes, by his own admission he was guilty of said misdemeanor of DUI.

However, there are some additional facts that provide mitigation of whether his misdemeanor guilt rose to the level of being injurious to his department (VCSO). First, records support that his DUI charge was reduced to a reckless driving conviction. VolusiaExposed.Com is keenly aware that several sworn officers (to include deputies) in county employment have such misdemeanor records.

Therefore, Deputy Flesch's DUI transgression should be no more "injurious" to his agency, then the others with similar transgressions. Further, even Sheriff Johnson has admitted to driving after drinking probably more then he should have. Apparently, Sheriff Johnson became some what offended when a Florida State Trooper was investigating his drinking and driving habits.

Further, Sheriff Johnson has far more life experience then many of his deputies. He has more years in law enforcment, then many of his deputies have been alive. If Sheriff Johnson is the role model, or the yard stick, in which we measure whether driving drunk is injurious to the public perception of the VCSO, then it would appear to us that drinking and driving within the VCSO is almost an official rite of passage for young deputies.

Therefore, we do support that Deputy Flesch was guilty of a misdemeanor, but due to the past practices of the VCSO, that it can in no way be seen as "injurious" by the current VCSO administration.

Deputy Flesch's attorney openly admits that Flesch was drunk

Sheriff Johnson admits to drinking and driving?

Was Deputy Flesch's termination consistent with past practice within county government?

VolusiaExposed.Com has already acknowledged that there is a rather long record of sworn Volusia County employees (to include VCSO sheriff deputies) having DUI arrests. In fact, not too far back, a supervisor within a law enforcement branch of Volusia County government had to be driven home.

However, of extreme interest is the 2003 arrest of Assistant County Attorney William Bosch. An April 18, 2003 article in the Daytona Beach News Journal detailed the events surrounding his arrest. Not only was Mr. Bosch arrested for DUI, he was further charged with defrauding an inn keeper, he failed to pay for his food and drinks prior to leaving the establishment he was dining at.

Interestingly, Attorney Bosch was NOT terminated from county employment, he was "fined" $10,000 by his employer the County of Volusia. Only a two page document is available in his county personnel file of his temporary adjustment in his pay, and it does not reflect that the reduction in pay was for disciplinary reasons.

Documents associated with
the William Bosch incident

Bosch's personnel action form

Dave Byron's email to VX regarding William Bosch

County email response to VX's PRR

We invite you to read Volusia County Spokesperson, Dave Byron's email, in which he explains the difference between a "classified" and "unclassified" county employee.

Mr. Bosch was a "unclassified" "at will" employee with no appeal rights. While Deputy Flesch was a "classified" employee that had the protections of the County Merit Rules, appeals rights and a hearing at the County Personnel Board. Mr. Byron goes on to assure us that "unclassified" employees are held to a higher standard then are "classified" employees.

Let's examine this for a second -
Assistant County Attorney, William Bosch (an officer of the court - higher ranking than a law enforcement officer) skips on his dinner and bar tab, gets pulled over for DUI - is arrested for both charges - and he merely gets fined $10,000, that he can pay in 10 easy installment of $1000.00 a whack.

Deputy Scott Flesch, goes over to Afghanistan, fights and kills for his country, comes back with some issues, to apparently include alcohol dependency, leaves a bar to avoid a fight, drives DUI, has the police falsify a charge of fleeing and eluding on him - gets arrested - and find himself terminated from a $50,000+ year job.

And some how, Mr. Byron believes the "classified" employee has more rights and protections. Maybe it's time for Mr. Byron to think about giving up drinking !


Recently, VCSO Deputy Chief Coffin testified in the Personnel Board hearing regarding a Correctional Officer Goddell.

Mr. Goddell was terminated for engaging in an inappropriate relationship with a female jail inmate. Interesting he had to be caught twice, over a 2 months period, prior to the county deciding that they needed to terminate his employment.

One would think, that given the scandal that came out of the Beach Patrol (officers having sexual relationships with underage girls), that the Corrections department would have been sensitive to an inappropriate relationship between an male officer and a female inmate. (the Goddell incident was not a sexual relationship) (Both the Beach Patrol and Corrections Department are divisions within the Department of Public Protection)

Also, Officer Goddell's actions were also violations of Florida Administrative Code 11B-27, the Florida Officer Moral Character Standards.

Even, given all the allegations attached to Officer Goddell, the VCSO Chief Deputy reached out to the assistant jail director to inquire whether Officer Goddel was worth saving. (Please see the below video of Chief Deputy Coffin's testimony)

We invite you to review the two below videos of Deputy Flesch's employee evaluations by his VCSO supervisor, and Sheriff Johnson's testimony regarding Flesch's nomination for Deputy of the Quarter.

Was Deputy Flesch worth saving?

Chief Deputy Coffin testifies
Recently, Chief Deputy Coffin testfied at a correctional officer's personnel board. Chief Deputy Coffin took the extra step to ask whether the correctional officer was worth saving (not to terminate). Did anyone ask that question regarding Deputy Flesch?

A VCSO Sgt. testifies about Deputy Flesch job performance

Sheriff Johnson testifies
Deputy Flesch was nominated for Deputy of the Quarter, just months prior to his arrest.

So what's the real reason(s) for the Deputy Flesch termination?

VolusiaExposed.Com has heard a long list of reasons why Deputy Flesch was really fired.
The given reasons range from:

It's an election year and the sheriff doesn't want the bad press.

It has it's basis in the on-going Sheriff Johnson - Chief Chitwood feud.

It's based on Deputy Flesch's pre-employment arrest history, the county and the VCSO are concerned about possible liability.

Others not worth mentioning.

Some of the above mentioned rationales for Deputy Flesch's termination were discussed during the Personnel Board Hearing.
We again invite you to review the videos of the entire hearing at the below web link.

Click here - All videos attached to the Deputy Scott Flesch May 8, 2012 Personnel Board hearing

The bottomline, is that we, the public will probably never really know the reasons why Deputy Flesch was terminated.

But one thing is clear, it was not because he committed a felony, or that his DUI arrest was injurious to the VCSO.

And one scary thing is worth noting - when police officers start lying on each other, when they start falsifying criminal charges on one another - do you really believe that these same officers would even hesitate to falsify charges on a regular citizens?


Volusia County Merit Rules - in PDF format


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