Home»US News»Exclusive: The Fraud In Lee County Continues – Documents Indicate Sheriff Never Met The Requirements To Be A Police Officer

Exclusive: The Fraud In Lee County Continues – Documents Indicate Sheriff Never Met The Requirements To Be A Police Officer

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I’ve been covering the story down in Lee County, Florida for several weeks now, and in the past few, I’ve specifically been covering Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno.  This has not only led me to uncover how he is perpetrating a fraudulent claim concerning his education, but The Washington Standard has also obtained documents that indicate that he never met the state of Florida’s requirements to become a police officer and that he made false statements on an application to become a sheriff’s deputy.

Understand, as of to date, no media outlet in southwest Florida, though they have been provided the documentation, has yet to report on this element of corruption concerning Sheriff Carmine Marceno.   In fact, there may be a need to investigate the owners of the various media outlets in Florida to determine if they are financial supporters of the sheriff.  It has already been determined that Lee County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) spends quite a bit of money advertising with these outlets.  When did the people of Lee County approve such wasteful spending?

That aside, I will try to keep this article somewhat brief in its presentation.

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE):

The Equivalency of Training (EOT) process is for Out-of-State Federal Officers and previously certified Florida officers with a four year or more break-in-service pursuant to section 943.131(2), Florida Statutes and Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.) 11B-35.009(4)(5).

The EOT allows an officer to be exempt from having to complete the full basic recruit academy.

You may be eligible for an exemption from the full basic training requirements if you were an officer in another state or with the federal government and meet the following requirements:

  • You worked at least one year, full-time as a sworn officer in the discipline you are seeking exemption;
  • You received training in that discipline which is comparable to Florida’s full basic recruit curriculum and/or;
  • You were previously certified in Florida.

There can be no more than an 8 year break in employment as an officer. The break in employment is measured from the separation date of the most recent qualifying employment to the time a complete application requesting an exemption from training is submitted to a Criminal Justice Selection Centeror criminal justice employing agency.

Once you are approved for an equivalency of training, you will need to demonstrate proficiency in the high liability areas and pass the state certification exam in the same discipline within 1 year of receipt of the approved Equivalency of Training CJSTC Form 76.

If you do not complete the training and pass the State Officer Certification Examination within the 1 year time limit, you may apply for another exemption from training, but you must be eligible pursuant to Chapter 943.131(2), F.S. at the time of application.

By law, criminal justice employing agencies or selection centers are responsible for reviewing out-of-state or federal officer’s employment and training to initially determine eligibility for exemption. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement does not determine a person’s eligibility.

Upon collection, verification and authentication of documentation which establishes that you meet the training and experience requirements, a criminal justice employing agency or an assessment center must submit a completed Equivalency of Training CJSTC Form 76 to the FDLE for approval.

The claim of working one year, full time is what I’m emphasizing here for this article.

Carmine Marceno came to Florida from New York.  He looked to join the Naples Police Department and did so in August 1999, working for what he said was $400 per week, which was $100 less than his partnership at “Island Tan of Naples” tanning salon paid him less than two years later.

However, Marceno, having come from out of state, never fulfilled the requirements of the state of Florida’s statutes and codes by completing at least one year of full-time service as a sworn officer in the state from which he came.

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According to his time sheet and applications, Marceno was listed as “part-time” and “seasonal,” which meant he didn’t work full time and that he only worked a few months out of the year from 1999 till 2001.

Sheriff Carmine Marceno&#39… by on Scribd

In his Article 15 membership Registration, he listed himself as a Suffolk County police officer with the Suffolk County Park Police.  In essence, he was the equivalent of Ranger Smith of Yogi Bear fame.

Here’s where the problem lies:  Marceno never completed “at least one year, full-time as a sworn officer” in order to be eligible to take the Equivalency of Training.

Yet, when asked if he met that requirement, how did Marceno respond?  See for yourself.

 

In fact, when he applied to Collier County Sheriff’s Office, he failed to even check whether he was part time or full time in Suffolk County.

This is important because, according to the Frequently Asked Questions on their website, Collier County Sheriff’s Office will hire experienced officers from out of state if they meet the qualifications that FDLE cited in the statutes and code.

The City of Naples Police Department also points over to the same requirements for those who are out of state officers.

Finally, the Lee County Sheriff’s own website also points to the FDLE requirements, which are the law.

It gets worse.

Not only did he fail to complete one year of full-time duty as a sworn officer from out of state before coming into the state as a police officer, but he was somehow was allowed to take the equivalency test, which has as its prerequisite that time of service.

On top of that, he was not only allowed to take the equivalency test, but failed it… twice.

According to a memo dated August 2, 2000, to Chief Steven Moore at the Naples Police Department from Ginger Jones concerning Marceno’s certification, she wrote:

Chief, as per our earlier conversation regarding certification exams, I have learned the following from F.D.L.E:

  • Since this is the second time Carmine has failed the exam, he must now return to a certified academy of school and re-take the courses that are pertinent only to the section that he failed.
  • Once he completes and passes the class, he then has 180 days to take the exam.
  • Since his TEA expires as of August 23, 2000 there does not appear to be any way he can finish the courses and retake the exam in 24 days.  FDLE suggests pulling him from the road on August 23rd and assigning him to administrative duties until he retakes and passes the exam.  This is, of course, at your discretion.
  • Upon his successfully passing the exam, the only thing we would be required to submit to reinstate him to the road would be a new Form 60.  All other paperwork would not need to be redone.

Jones then asked for the chief to advise her about how to proceed.  Notice that no one looked for the requirement of one year of full-time service as a sworn officer.

Finally, an affidavit of applicant filed with FDLE by Marceno states that “by executing this document I am attesting that I have met the qualifications as specified.  I have read my employment application and it is true and correct, and all other information I will furnish in conjunction with my application is true and correct.”

Furthermore, Naples Police Department lists Marceno as “terminated,” in documents provided to The Washington Standard.

This is assumed to be the result of his failing his exam a second time rather than his lack of being qualified to take the exam in the first place.

What’s interesting about his termination is that he has apparently lied on later applications for work.  For instance, when he applied to Collier County Sheriff’s Office, he said that he had never been dismissed from a position.

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And again, when he applied for Lee County Sheriff’s Office, he admitted the same thing.

FDLE investigator Michelle Pitman, the same woman involved in the “investigation” that determined that Deanna Williams’ complaint against Marceno didn’t warrant a criminal investigation, seems to have ignored this information that other officers have brought to FDLE’s attention.  I’m not surprised.

He’s deceived the public about his education.  He’s deceived authorities about meeting the requirements to be a police officer in Florida.  What else has he deceived Florida about?

So, what is the big deal?  According to at least two law enforcement officers I have spoken to that worked in Lee County, Marceno, during his time prior to being sheriff, was basically impersonating a police officer, which is a crime, and all along, FDLE allowed him to do it.

What are the penalties for such a crime?

According to The Law Offices of Roger P. Foley:

Just committing this crime is a third-degree felony which is punishable up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. This crime is a level 2 out of 10 under the Florida Criminal Punishment Code.

If the defendant impersonated an officer during the commission of a felony, then the crime is a second-degree felony which is punishable up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

If during the felony someone is killed or injured, the crime is a first-degree felony punishable up to 30 years in prison and $10,000 fine.

This went on for years.  Is this important to you Lee County?  FDLE?  Governor DeSantis?  It should be, especially in light of the fact that this man is charged to arrest a woman that he unethically pursued for a sexual relationship after he lured her to his office offering help, only to drop the ball in a $200,000 grand theft criminal complaint she had.  I can tell you that her life is just as much in danger as was the baby she was carrying that was his and just as much as this man, a friend of the woman’s son who turned up dead this week while in the custody of Naples Police after settling his case and being prepared to be released.

Previous stories in this series:

 

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