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Resource ID: #24038
Subject: County Government
Source: Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
Affiliation: 
Date: 08/31/2008; 10/26/2008

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Description

This story looked back to a traffic accident six years ago (2002) in which a car driven by a teenager ran off a back country road in the middle of the night and his passenger, a 16-year-old named Miles White, was killed. The polk County Shriff's Office investigated, ruled it a single car accident and charged the 19-year-old driver with DUI-manslaughter. The Times was able to show that the sheriff's office had engaged in a cover-up. It was not a single-car crash; it was caused by a Polk County sheriff's deputy, who, as it turned out, was a sexual predator who like teenage boys. He chased the boys that night, hit their rear bumper and ran them off the road. The Times showed that before the accident, the sheriff's office had been warned that they had a deputy who was using his undercover vehicle to stalk teenage boys. They had not heeded that warning and left him on the road. If he then caused an accident that killed a boy, the department would have been on the hook for multimillion dollar damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. The office chose instead to cover up the truth.

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