FAIL: Cop Who Made 100 DUI Arrests Shows up Too Wasted to Receive His MADD Award
(via The Daily Sheeple) -- Can you say “hypocrite”?
Pinellas County Deputy Michael Szeliga showed up at a Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) training event at the Hyatt Regency hotel in July and decided to skip the majority of the training part to get hammered on Jameson Irish whiskey cocktails all day while hanging at the pool and playing “cornhole” beanbag game with other officers according to a newly released 274-page Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office internal affairs investigation. But, “The plot thickens” from there, says a former MADD director and anti-DUI lawyer. “It seems to be a lot worse than originally presented,” WFLA reports.
A sergeant at the event later caught a “pretty drunk” Szeliga in the hotel hallway in nothing but his boxer shorts during a fire alarm. One sergeant told investigators Szeliga’s eyes were glassy and his speech was slurred, though Szeliga denies this, saying he only had two or three drinks. Then again, these are all officers who have no doubt dealt with arresting intoxicated people before, so it’s kind of a silly argument anyway.
Szeliga was also set to attend a banquet later that night to receive an award from MADD for making 100 DUI arrests, but instead a police chief barred him from going in because he was drunk. Szeliga mouthed off to the chief and his supervisor made him skip the banquet, so he didn’t get to receive his award.
Szeliga was suspended for a day with pay (yay, paid vacation!) for violating his office’s “Standard of Conduct” for being drunk on duty. He also had to write a letter of apology to the police chief he mouthed off to.
Szeliga has since been promoted to detective on a crimes against children unit.
“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?'”