2015 Florida Statutes
Failure to comply; official misconduct.
Failure to comply; official misconduct.
112.534 Failure to comply; official misconduct.—
(1) If any law enforcement agency or correctional agency, including investigators in its internal affairs or professional standards division, or an assigned investigating supervisor, intentionally fails to comply with the requirements of this part, the following procedures apply. For purposes of this section, the term “law enforcement officer” or “correctional officer” includes the officer’s representative or legal counsel, except in application of paragraph (d).
(a) The law enforcement officer or correctional officer shall advise the investigator of the intentional violation of the requirements of this part which is alleged to have occurred. The officer’s notice of violation is sufficient to notify the investigator of the requirements of this part which are alleged to have been violated and the factual basis of each violation.
(b) If the investigator fails to cure the violation or continues the violation after being notified by the law enforcement officer or correctional officer, the officer shall request the agency head or his or her designee be informed of the alleged intentional violation. Once this request is made, the interview of the officer shall cease, and the officer’s refusal to respond to further investigative questions does not constitute insubordination or any similar type of policy violation.
(c) Thereafter, within 3 working days, a written notice of violation and request for a compliance review hearing shall be filed with the agency head or designee which must contain sufficient information to identify the requirements of this part which are alleged to have been violated and the factual basis of each violation. All evidence related to the investigation must be preserved for review and presentation at the compliance review hearing. For purposes of confidentiality, the compliance review panel hearing shall be considered part of the original investigation.
(d) Unless otherwise remedied by the agency before the hearing, a compliance review hearing must be conducted within 10 working days after the request for a compliance review hearing is filed, unless, by mutual agreement of the officer and agency or for extraordinary reasons, an alternate date is chosen. The panel shall review the circumstances and facts surrounding the alleged intentional violation. The compliance review panel shall be made up of three members: one member selected by the agency head, one member selected by the officer filing the request, and a third member to be selected by the other two members. The review panel members shall be law enforcement officers or correctional officers who are active from the same law enforcement discipline as the officer requesting the hearing. Panel members may be selected from any state, county, or municipal agency within the county in which the officer works. The compliance review hearing shall be conducted in the county in which the officer works.
(e) It is the responsibility of the compliance review panel to determine whether or not the investigator or agency intentionally violated the requirements provided under this part. It may hear evidence, review relevant documents, and hear argument before making such a determination; however, all evidence received shall be strictly limited to the allegation under consideration and may not be related to the disciplinary charges pending against the officer. The investigative materials are considered confidential for purposes of the compliance review hearing and determination.
(f) The officer bears the burden of proof to establish that the violation of this part was intentional. The standard of proof for such a determination is by a preponderance of the evidence. The determination of the panel must be made at the conclusion of the hearing, in writing, and filed with the agency head and the officer.
(g) If the alleged violation is sustained as intentional by the compliance review panel, the agency head shall immediately remove the investigator from any further involvement with the investigation of the officer. Additionally, the agency head shall direct an investigation be initiated against the investigator determined to have intentionally violated the requirements provided under this part for purposes of agency disciplinary action. If that investigation is sustained, the sustained allegations against the investigator shall be forwarded to the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission for review as an act of official misconduct or misuse of position.
(2)(a) All the provisions of s. 838.022 shall apply to this part.
(b) The provisions of chapter 120 do not apply to this part.
History.—s. 4, ch. 74-274; s. 35, ch. 77-104; s. 1, ch. 78-291; s. 4, ch. 82-156; s. 4, ch. 93-19; s. 3, ch. 2000-184; s. 8, ch. 2003-158; s. 3, ch. 2009-200; s. 5, ch. 2011-4.