St. Petersburg, Florida -- A Pinellas County deputy has been suspended for trying to poison another deputy. Deputy Tamara Morgan was given 240 hours of suspended time and signed off on it Tuesday.
Officials with the sheriff's office said on June 25, Deputy Morgan, a bailiff at the county courthouse in downtown St. Petersburg, got into a heated argument with another bailiff about days off.
When he was not around, authorities say she poured liquid hand sanitizer into his coffee thermos. When the deputy drank from it, he felt a burning sensation down his throat.
According to an inter-office memorandum, Deputy Morgan's actions were "a first degree felony and violation of agency policy." It also states that the 51-year-old admitted to the act.
We're told the the victim declined to prosecute Deputy Morgan.
10 News went to the deputy's house in Seminole and knocked on the door, but no one answered. However a neighbor we spoke with was alarmed at the whole situation.
"Knowingly that she would do such a thing is quite shocking to me, actually," said Victoria Barrientos. She added, "If she can poison one person, then I don't really think she should be a deputy at all."
Officials at the sheriff's office say they have a progressive disciple system that depends on a variety of things, including any prior disciplinary actions. The sheriff makes the final decision.
"Is it unusual or out of the ordinary that someone may receive discipline exceeding 100 hours of suspension? No it is not, but each case is different," said Marianne Pasha, with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.
According to authorities, Deputy Morgan has been with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office since 1995. As far as her record, she has one unfounded complaint and went through counseling for a taser that discharged.
She starts serving suspension November 26.
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