Unfortunately, the music was too soft and easy.
By all accounts, Saylor presented himself as a man of character who had done many good deeds in his life.
Saylor's cover up of an investigation into his friend's alleged crimes was not only his undoing, but caused a maelstrom that included lawsuits, a scuffle at a Town Council meeting, and governmental shakeups in the formerly quiet town of Windermere (well, as long as you don't talk about Tiger Woods' "incident" it was quiet).
Saylor's attorney, Mark NeJame, argued that his client had suffered great public embarrassment; loss of his job, his law enforcement certification, and numerous friends (though many were in the gallery to support him); and was truly remorseful.
Please pass the Kleenex.
In reviewing numerous press reports about Mr. Saylor's misconduct, it is obvious that his 1-yr jail sentence (with work release approved by the judge), is like slapping someone on the wrist with a feather. At the time of his arrest, there were over 1,000 pages in FDLE's investigation of Winderemere's police chief. In addition to allegations relating to Bush, Saylor allegedly:
- Accepted a $1000 cash "gift" in 2010 from Raul Carvajal, a subordinate, who sought to have a friend hired by the police department (Carvajal pled no contest to one count of bribery and one count of official misconduct, and was sentenced to 1 day in jail, 3 years probation and 150 hours community service earlier this month - adjudication was withheld);
- Failed to take action when DNA testing identified a suspect in a 2004 home invasion and attempted kidnapping case three years ago;
- Returned a diamond tennis bracelet that had been stolen from police evidence. Additionally, over 20 guns, drugs, cash, and other valuables had reportedly disappeared from the less than secure evidence room.
- Filed false crime statistics.
- Voided tickets for residents and government employees.
- Ordered officers to drive intoxicated residents home rather than arrest them for DUI.
- Used officers to disperse immigrant workers at Bush's home after they had nearly completed work for him then refused to pay them.
- Sold guns meant for law enforcement to civilians.
- Resigned from the Melbourne Police Department in 1996 after being stopped in Orlando with a prostitute; and
- Was suspended from the Florida Police Chiefs Association in 2009 for "misbehaving" at a conference, unbeknownst to Windermere's government.
With all of that, I find Judge Arnold's comment to Saylor, "You're a talented man and will recover from this blip in the middle of your life" extraordinarily inappropriate. See it here.
Did he call it a "blip?"
How can one call misconduct and criminal behavior going back 15 years a "blip?"
I call it disgraceful - both Saylor's behavior and the comment made by the judge.
And a one year sentence with the judge's permission to do work release? A slap in the face to Bush's victim, law abiding citizens, and good cops everywhere.