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    Marion County Jail sergeant demoted, suspended after internal affairs investigation

    By Austin L. Miller, Ocala Star-Banner,

    2024-06-12

    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=40NB6i_0torXGc400

    A Marion County Jail supervisor has been demoted after internal affairs investigations concluded there was a domestic incident between him and his wife and that he engaged in an affair with a female employee whom he supervised.

    A third investigation focused on whether the man physically abused the woman with whom he had an intimate relationship. That investigation found that although a battery probably did occur, there's no evidence or witnesses to corroborate the woman's allegation.

    Investigators said the incidents involving Sgt. Shawn Perez occurred in December 2023 and March 2024. The Star Banner is not releasing the names of the women involved in an effort to protect their privacy. Perez is now a corporal.

    "Sgt. Perez, you exercised poor judgment by engaging in a romantic or intimate relationship with a subordinate along with actions that has brought discredit to the agency. It is my hope that this demotion and suspension will be viewed as a valuable learning tool to ensure these types of incidents never happens again," Capt. Matt McNeely, detention bureau/jail security division, wrote in a memorandum outlining the punishment.

    The note ended with this: "Any further incidents of this nature will result in a heightened level of disciplinary action."

    Investigators determined that Perez violated the sheriff's office code of conduct and its policy prohibiting certain relationships. The domestic altercation, involving him and his soon-to-be ex-wife, resulted in his arrest. Prosecutors did not pursue charges because the victim declined to move forward with the case.

    Aside from the loss of rank, Perez, who has been with the agency for 15 years, also was suspended without pay for three days.

    Local defense lawyer Jimmie Sparrow represented Perez.

    With the affair, Inspector Sgt. Lauren Miley said Perez and the jail employee, who at the time was a trainee, "were involved in an intimate relationship while Sergeant Perez was her direct supervisor." Perez admitted to the affair and "agreed that he violated agency policy," Miley wrote in her report.

    Miley said Perez admitted going to the woman's residence to talk with her. When she told him she could not talk to him because the internal affairs investigation was ongoing, Perez reportedly was "upset and raised his voice outside of her home," the report states.

    "Sergeant Perez's actions caused such a disturbance, law enforcement presence was required and he was subsequently trespassed from the location," Miley wrote in her report.

    Contact Austin L. Miller at austin.miller@starbanner.com

    This article originally appeared on Ocala Star-Banner: Marion County Jail sergeant demoted, suspended after internal affairs investigation

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