FHP fires district commander
Capt. Sterling King is accused of fixing a ticket for a female driver and making sexual comments.
Published August 3, 2005
ORLANDO - A Florida Highway Patrol district commander has been fired and faces criminal charges for fixing the ticket of a woman he spoke to in a sexually explicit manner, officials said Tuesday.
Capt. Sterling King, the Orlando district commander who previously worked in Tampa for about six years, was arrested Monday on charges of felony official misconduct and making a false official statement, a misdemeanor. He was released on $2,500 bail.
The felony charge can be punished with five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
King, 44, used agency letterhead to ask a traffic hearing officer to dismiss a traffic citation he had given a female driver, claiming he had mistaken her identity, according to his FHP dismissal letter.
King stopped Alaina Renae Edgemon, 24, in May 2004 for speeding. After issuing her the ticket, he began to tell her about sexual experiences he had at a nudist colony, according to the dismissal letter.
He also asked to see a bag of condoms she had in her glove compartment and then took several, the letter said.
"Ms. Edgemon said she was mortified that this was happening," said the letter written by Col. Christopher Knight, the FHP's director. "She said this conversation was out of the blue and she did nothing to encourage this behavior."
After King gave Edgemon her ticket, she asked if he could instead just give her a warning. He allegedly told her that if she challenged the ticket, he could make sure that her case never went to court.
They exchanged several e-mails in which King explained how to request a hearing and then told her he had initiated the dismissal of her citation, according to the dismissal letter.
Maj. Ernesto Duarte, chief of public affairs for the Florida Highway Patrol, said the traffic stop incident surfaced during the course of another investigation of King. He declined further comment.
"There were allegations that were brought," Duarte said. "Our agency conducted an investigation ... and as a result of the findings, he has been terminated."
King worked in Tampa for about six years, where he was a public information officer.
He was promoted to captain and assigned to Miami about 21/2 years ago. He served a year in Miami before being transferred to Orange County, where he was district commander for a year and a half, Duarte said.
There is no probe into King's activities while he worked in Tampa, Duarte said, and there is nothing to indicate alleged improprieties here.
"Not that we're aware of at this time," Duarte said.
King doesn't have a telephone listing and couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday.
Times staff writer Justin George contributed to this report.
[Last modified August 3, 2005, 00:35:13]
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