PORT RICHEY, Fla. – The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has completed its investigation into missing records at the Port Richey Police Department, and while many of the agency's findings echoed a June 10Investigates report, FDLE concluded there was not sufficient evidence to sustain any criminal prosecutions.
The investigation was launched last July following the 10Investigates stories, which detailed how officer discipline records went missing and certain individuals may have had unauthorized access to personnel records. The fallout from the series prompted Port Richey's city council to request an FDLE investigation, even though several councilmembers lashed out at 10Investigates, suggesting the report was "fake news."
FDLE's investigation echoed many of the WTSP findings, and it also revealed inconsistencies between what some officers told 10Investigates and what they told state investigators.
FDLE confirmed at least one officer was allowed to shred disciplinary documents, while other records were left unsecured before going missing with no explanation. But some of the problems were seemingly chalked up to a changing administration in late 2016, when Jerry DeCanio took over as Port Richey Police Chief.
The decision not to prosecute is similar to how FDLE's 2014-15 investigation into PRPD ended, when the agency found officers broke rules to curry personal favor from a local tow company. However, their transgressions were not found to violate any state statutes and did not prompt any criminal charges.
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