Detective 'Too Drunk' to Receive MADD Award

Michael Szeliga apparently had a few
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 9, 2015 5:55 PM CST

(Newser) – A Florida sheriff's deputy—who's now a full-fledged detective—apparently got so drunk at a Mothers Against Drunk Driving conference that he couldn't receive an award for making 100 DUI arrests, WFTV reports. According to lengthy report, Pinellas County deputy Michael Szeliga arrived at a Fort Lauderdale MADD training event in July and got pretty tanked on Jameson Irish whiskey cocktails. He skipped training, hung out at the Hyatt Regency's pool, and played a "cornhole" beanbag game with other deputies, WFLA reports. "The plot thickens" from there, says a former MADD director and anti-DUI lawyer. "It seems to be a lot worse than originally presented."

story continues below

Indeed, a sergeant claimed he saw Szeliga in the hotel hallways looking "pretty drunk" and wearing "nothing but boxer shorts" during a fire alarm, and Szeliga allegedly mouthed off to a police chief who told him not to enter the awards banquet while intoxicated. According to the 274-page internal affairs report, Szeliga’s supervisor soon got him to skip the banquet altogether. Szeliga disputes some details of the account, but was suspended with pay for a day. He's now a detective for a unit investigating crimes against children. "It was wrong," says Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, who also called Szeliga a good deputy. "When I first heard about it, that was (what) my reaction was. 'Come on, you’ve got to be kidding me. Really?'" (Read more Mothers Against Drunk Driving stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.