Orange County deputy sheriff fired in motor vehicle death www.privateofficer.com
Orlando Fla Nov 5 2011 Rejecting an appeal board’s recommendation, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings decided Thursday to fire a deputy involved in a crash that claimed the life of a 91-year-old man last year.
Malinda Miller was cited for failing to use due care in the T-bone crash that killed Ed Soistman on Magnolia Homes Road. A judge later absolved her of that violation after a hearing.
She initially faced termination after the crash, but appealed. Last month, an appeal board ruled in her favor, recommending suspension and disciplinary probation in place of termination.
Demings had the option to accept the recommendation, in whole or part, or to reject it, an agency spokesman said at the time. On Thursday, Demings informed Miller he’d chosen the latter.
“I respectfully disagree with the recommendations of the Disciplinary Appeal Board and find your appeal of the severity of discipline to be ‘Without Merit,’” Demings wrote in a letter to Miller.
Miller has seven days to turn in any department-issued equipment, the letter states.
The Florida Highway Patrol said Miller’s lights and siren were off and she was driving 86 mph in a 40-mph zone before the crash on Aug. 17, 2010. She was on her way to help with a burglary suspect.
Law allows deputies on the way to an emergency to disregard some traffic regulations, but sheriff’s policy cautions deputies to drive with “due care and regard for the safety of the public.”
Miller, who was hired by the Sheriff’s Office in 2008, had been ticketed twice previously on speeding charges, once in 2001 and once in 2009.
Soistman led an active life that included volunteer work at Great Oaks Village, a group foster home for children; Christian Service Center for Central Florida; churches; hospitals and nursing homes.
The retired Lockheed Martin executive and lay minister was on his way to visit a friend in the hospital when his Buick was struck by Miller’s patrol vehicle last year.