Fired Florida Cop: We Don't Ticket Lawmakers

Lawsuit over dismissal alleges unspoken rule

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 28, 2013 6:18 PM CDT

(Newser) – Florida state trooper Charles Swindle says he was "trying to be nice" when he gave state lawmaker Charles McBurney a $10 ticket for failing to show proof of insurance, instead of one for going 87mph in a 70mph. "I'm cutting you a break on this one," he told him. But McBurney didn't see it that way. He complained to Swindle's superiors, saying he was never speeding in the first place, and got Swindle fired, the Miami Herald reports. Now, Swindle is fighting to get his job back—and revealing an unflattering highway patrol secret in the process.

Swindle is accusing the patrol of having a standing policy of not ticketing lawmakers, because they determine its budget. "This stinks," Swindle's attorney says. "The FHP can’t have it both ways, with a policy of discretion to cut breaks to legislators who are speeding and then turn around and fire them." But a patrol spokesman says the story is "horse hockey," and that there is no such policy.

A lawmaker didn't appreciate his non-speeding ticket.
A lawmaker didn't appreciate his non-speeding ticket.   (Shutterstock)
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