By Times staff reports
© St. Petersburg Times,
Two Sheriff's Office employees disciplined
LARGO -- A Sheriff's Office sergeant has been demoted for failing to report that a subordinate made allegations that she was a victim of domestic violence.
Lendel Bright, who has worked for the Sheriff's Office for about 20 years and is head of the Minority Law Enforcement Personnel of Pinellas County, will be demoted July 15 to a position in road patrol. He had been working as a supervisor in the Child Protective Investigative Division.
A clerk who worked under Bright, Belinda Parker, told him she was a victim of domestic violence that may have been witnessed by her children. Bright had a duty -- particularly as a supervisor in child protection -- to report those allegations, sheriff's officials said. Parker also was given a five-day suspension for being untruthful during the investigation. There have been no findings that she was the victim of domestic violence. Bright first came under investigation last year when Parker's husband told sheriff's officials he thought she and Bright were having an affair.
He later retracted those allegations. Supervisors asked Bright about the allegation of an affair at that time. He denied it. But Parker's husband made more allegations in January. He provided sheriff's officials with his wife's cell phone records, which showed she and Bright had talked often during work, after hours and on weekends.
He also gave sheriff's officials a sexually explicit e-mail that Bright had sent to his wife, officials said. Bright's superiors forwarded a complaint to internal affairs. Investigators could not substantiate that an affair took place, but found that Parker had told Bright she had been an abuse victim. Both Bright and Parker denied having an affair.
Man shoots his wife's boyfriend, officials say
DUNEDIN -- A man going through a divorce was arrested early Thursday morning in connection with the shooting of his wife's boyfriend, Pinellas sheriff's officials said. Jonathan F. Devine, 28, of 1144 Lasalle St., Clearwater, was charged with attempted murder with a firearm.
He is accused of shooting Anthony Scott, 33, of Tampa twice in the chest outside his wife's residence, 2773 Park Drive, sheriff's officials said. Scott apparently drove to Mease Countryside Hospital after the shooting, where he was treated and released, sheriff's spokesman Cal Dennie said.
Devine also was arrested on a spouse battery charge on suspicion he punched his wife in the face about six times. He was being held at the Pinellas County Jail on Thursday in lieu of bail. Dennie said Devine went to his wife's residence armed with a .38-caliber semiautomatic handgun. In the parking lot about 3 a.m., he heard a rear sliding glass door open, then saw Scott trying to sneak out of the apartment to his car, Dennie said.
Devine confronted Scott, who then walked back toward the apartment. Devine's wife came outside. Her husband began arguing with her, then punched her, Dennie said. Meanwhile, Scott got into his car, started it and backed up. Devine then shot twice, striking Scott twice in the chest, Dennie said. Scott pulled away, then Devine began beating his wife again, Dennie said. He later went to his home, confided in his brother that he had shot someone, then went back to the scene to turn himself in to deputies, Dennie said.
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