A Florida deputy who spent almost a year sending videos of himself masturbating to a woman he met online ended up resigning when the woman filed a complaint against him.
But Vera O’Reilly only filed a complaint against Gulf County sheriff’s deputy Brian Smith after he had purchased an airline ticket to visit her in Canada.
And Smith only resigned after O’Reilly’s initial complaints to the department went ignored and she turned to a retired cop turned private investigator who publicized the video showing Smith masturbating.
At first, Gulf County Sheriff Mike Harrison only gave smith a verbal reprimand.
But that was not enough for O’Reilly.
“I was scared, the person I knew Brian Smith to be was scary and unpredictable when emotional. ” O’Reilly wrote to retired cop Don Jackson, who runs the site policeabuse.com, a site that states he charges $150 to conduct investigations into police departments.
O’Reilly, whose Facebook page depicts her as being a huge fan of police, even winning an award from the Calgary Police Service in 1997, went on to write that the most “serious offense” committed by Smith was “making insulting remarks.”
January 9th 2017, I reported sheriffs deputy Brian Smith of Unprofessional misconduct to Sheriff Mike Harrison of the Gulf county sheriffs office Florida. I told Sheriff Harrison I had many videos, pictures text messages and emails Brian had sent me in the span of 10 months. February 2016 to December 2016. I described how Brian had come into contact with me via Facebook and explained the constant and in-depth interactions. Brian had sent me videos of him turning his radio off / down while on duty to talk to me and send videos. Him telling me how he fell asleep in his car on duty. Brian would park his car in his hiding spots to talk with me via live video chat and send video messages. Brian also complained his superiors gave him trouble for not putting enough miles on his patrol car while on duty, He would also go to the fire hall and hide inside to chat. I have a video of him further explaining how he broke a mans neck and was told by another deputy that he hit the guy more times than he remembered and reported. He seamed pleased with himself. I have many crime scene photos with insults to the victim(s) including wishing them dead. I have call out screens with addresses / names of callers. Brian would often tell me on shots fired calls he wished he would have shot the person so he could have 30 days paid leave.
O’Reilly said that Gulf County Sheriff Mike Harrison spoke to her by phone three times in January for less than five minutes each time, but then stopped responding to her emails containing more evidence against Smith.
And she said she became increasingly scared as the day approached when Smith was scheduled to land in Calgary.
“I reviewed over it, and there was nothing rose to the level of a crime that had been committed. There were policy violations. We brought him in here and talked to him and verbally reprimanded him about his use of time while he was on-duty,” said Gulf County Sheriff Mike Harrison, who originally investigated and determined deputy Brian Smith didn’t commit a crime.
But after sexting selfie pictures, videos and screen shots of the deputy sleeping on-duty, dodging radio calls, mocking superiors and even masturbating in his patrol car became public, Sheriff Harrison went further and placed Smith on administrative leave.
“There was another image that we uncovered on that secondary information. He was making an inappropriate sexual gesture while in uniform while in a county facility, and that was the tipping point there. That was why we put him on administrative leave.”
In light of the publicity, even though he wasn’t fired, deputy Smith later called Sheriff Harrison a few hours later to inform the sheriff of his resignation on April 4, effective immediately.
It all began on February 28 when O’Reilly contacted Jackson about her complaint that she felt went ignored by the Gulf County Sheriff’s Office in Florida.
“There were plane tickets to come here. And I was frightened he was still going to come here,” O’Reilly wrote to Jackson.
“I was frightened for two whole weeks.”
Jackson confirmed the Gulf County Sheriff’s Department received a substantial amount of evidence proving O’Reilly’s complaint to be founded, but the department was not responding to her emails or phone calls.
On March 3, Jackson, who lives in Tallahassee but retired from the Hawthorne Police Department in Southern California – and is also a victim of police abuse – called Sheriff Harrison to report the misconduct and sent a folder containing several evidence exhibits.
Evidence in the folder included dozens of emails and videos proving the deputy was sleeping on duty and masturbating in his patrol car.
In addition, the folder contained evidence the deputy was using crime scene evidence for personal use, exposing personal information of private individuals online, exposing confidential county records on public computers, abusing inmates, mocking accident victims and making disparaging remarks about his superiors and Sheriff Harrison.
Jackson determined Smith also bragged about dodging calls from dispatchers, hitting suspects and even boasted about breaking a man’s neck.
His investigation found deputy Smith “demonstrated little regard for the supervision of the sheriff’s office.”
According to O’Reilly, deputy Smith often hid behind the fire station while pretending to work, taking himself out of duty to masturbate over the internet in his patrol car for hours at a time while broadcasting on Facebook chat.
O’Reilly reported there was a substantial amount of biological evidence in deputy Smith’s patrol car.
Sheriff Harrison failed to collect that evidence or obtain video and chat logs from Facebook.
Instead, he wrote O’Reilly a letter explaining deputy Smith’s actions were likely to happen again and promised better supervision in the future.
In conclusion, Jackson determined deputy Smith actually committed fraud by continuously misleading his superiors about his on-duty activities and reported the complaint to the Florida Attorney General’s Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement after the Gulf Coast Sheriff’s Department failed to follow Florida’s state accreditation policies related to O’Reilly’s complaint.
Smith refused to comment on the matter.
Video of O’Reilly’s statements, as well as some of the evidence she collected along the way.
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