Pinellas sheriff: Fired deputy 'beyond stupid' in inviting woman he arrested to his home

Pinellas deputy fired after being accused of inviting woman over after her arrest

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Things not do as a member of law enforcement:

  • Arrest someone with an extensive criminal history, then take off their handcuffs while awaiting the prisoner transport van.
  • Have a flirtatious conversation with them, including talking about your finances and where you live.
  • Continue the flirtatious conversation through text after the arrested person is released from jail.
  • Pay for that person and her friend to drive to your home for "conversations."

Brian Britt, 45, a Pinellas County Sheriff's Office deputy for 17 years, was fired Monday for the above sequence of events, which happened between Dec. 31, 2016 and Jan. 10, 2017.

"In conclusion, he stated 'I'm an idiot,'" Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said. "I agree. He is an idiot."

Britt met Dane'jah Keisha Scott while arresting her at her Oldsmar home for a domestic battery charge out of St. Petersburg.
 
Scott's friend, Tiana Williams, was also in the home. It appeared both were showering together, Gualtieri said. 
 
(Keep reading to understand how the above sentence relates to this story.)
 
Britt transported Scott to Canal Park to await a prisoner transport van. It is standard department protocol for a deputy to meet the transport van at a central location. Britt just happened to choose the park, Gualtieri said.
 
While there, Britt removed Scott's handcuffs and engaged her in conversation.
 
"It was a flirtatious conversation," Gualtieri said. "It was talking about his financial status, it was talking about where he lived. A lot of things were inappropriate in that conversation."
 
Britt used his department-issued phone to contact Scott following her release from jail the next day. 
 
The pair continued conversing through text for about two weeks, including Britt sending Scott a photo of him dressed as 'The Hulk.'
 

'Can't make this stuff up'

Prior to Scott's arrest, Britt entered her home as she retrieved her identification.
 
While inside, he saw Williams naked in the shower.
 
Britt remembered Williams when he asked Scott to come to his Pasco County home.
 
"She's hot too, bring her," Gualtieri recalled Britt saying, per records obtained during the internal affairs investigation.
 
Britt wanted both women to drive from St. Petersburg to his residence in Holiday, paying them $100 each for "conversations," Gualtieri said while using air quotes.
 
The home was dimly lit with candles when the women arrived, Gualtieri said.
 
"They engaged in some conversation, and the conversation was about the girls providing fetish services for money, and that Scott did this to clients and considered Britt a client," Gualtieri said.
 
Britt rubbed Scott's leg during the encounter, which she didn't like because she thought she was there just to talk, Gualtieri said.
 
Britt later put a can of gas in their vehicle "because the $100 wasn't going to cover what he had in mind, and what he had in mind would've cost a lot more," Gualtieri said.
 
When asked whether Britt's motive was to have sex with the women, Gualtieri said "100 percent that's what that was."
 
It was not clear if any sexual contact took place.
 
The encounter happened while Britt's 11-year-old daughter slept in the home, Gualtieri said. Britt is divorced and his daughter lives with her mother.
 
"The whole thing is egregious and shows lack of morals...lack of everything you can expect in a deputy sheriff," Gualtieri said.
 
The department was notified about the incident after Scott told another deputy during a separate incident.
 
"As you say, you can't make it up," Gualtieri said. You truly can't make this up."
 
Britt joined the department in 2000 as a detention deputy, was moved to patrol in 2005, then transfered to corut security in 2008.
 
He was disciplined in 2006 for accessing porn on a sheriff's office computer and was moved back to patrol later in 2008 after being disciplined for flexing his chest muscles at an attractive female juror.
 
Britt has had a few complaints filed against him, but nothing that was substantiated, Gualtieri said.
 
Scott, who is currently in the Pinellas County Jail for retail theft, has an extensive criminal history, including burglary, drug possession, resisting arrest and tampering with evidence.
 

Below is an internal memo notifying Britt of his termination:

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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