WINDERMERE, Fla. Jan 13 2011— The police chief of the central Florida suburb where golfer Tiger Woods had his infamous 2009 crash has been arrested and charged with misconduct.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement spokeswoman Susie Murphy says Windermere Police Chief Daniel Saylor was taken into custody Wednesday morning. He faces one count of official misconduct and one count of giving compensation for official business.
Saylor’s agency drew international attention following the crash of Woods’ vehicle outside his home. Saylor’s officers were among the first people to respond to the crash.
Saylor was ordered held without bond at the Orange County Jail and couldn’t be reached for comment.
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Murphy says she couldn’t immediately go into further details on the arrest.
Suspended Windermere police Chief Daniel Saylor has been released from Orange County Jail.
Orange County Judge Kenneth Barlow granted Saylor a $5,150 bond on felony charges of giving unlawful compensation for official behavior and official misconduct.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigators Wednesday arrested Saylor and accused him of shutting down an investigation into a friend accused of raping a child.
Barlow denied bond for Saylor’s friend, Scott Frederick Bush. He faces child-sex charges that carry the potential of life in prison.
“I have not had an opportunity to speak with my mother,” Bush told Barlow, when asked about hiring a private attorney to represent him in court. “I have no idea what to do sir.” His conditions for release prohibit him from contacting the victim or any minors.
Saylor’s attorney Mark NeJame downplayed the state’s case against the suspended chief of police and urged people to remember his client has only been accused — not convicted — of crimes.
“He should be released and he should not be here,” NeJame told Barlow during his client’s initial appearance before the judge at the Orange County Jail this morning. “This is a travesty that’s occurred and continues to occur.”
NeJame complained that FDLE investigators and others involved in the probe into Saylor and his arrest have mishandled the case and acted in “utter disregard of the law.”
He told Barlow that Saylor is a well-liked chief and enumerated Saylor’s accomplishments to establish his client’s good standing in the community. NeJame also stressed that Saylor needs to be at home with his 10-year-old daughter.
“He is this child’s world,” NeJame said. “He is the sole provider, caretaker and custodian of this child.”
As part of his conditions for release, Saylor must turn in his personal firearms to the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office and his agency-issued weapons to the Windermere Police Department by 10 p.m.
NeJame repeatedly objected to the final condition: Saylor cannot contact anyone at the Windermere Police Department.
Barlow agreed the condition “does isolate him somewhat,” but approved it based on the allegation of official misconduct.
NeJame added that he felt Saylor is defenseless against the criminals he has put behind bars during his law-enforcement career without his weapons. Barlow suggested deputies from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office can provide security.
“[Orange County Sheriff's Office] are adversaries as it relates to these charges,” NeJame said.
Saylor’s attorney told reporters the allegations against his client are “devastating personally, for his family and career-wise.”