You are on page 1of 78
4 Polk County Fire Rescue Board of County Commissioners Administrative Investigation Case #2019-AC-0005 Subject Member(s): Captain James Williams DUE: May 16, 2019 Investigation Conducted By: Investigator Daniel Cone Office of Professional Standards Case File Routing Form #_2019-AC-0005 @signea to: Office of Professional Standards Supervisor ROUTING SCHEDULE DATE Original Incident Date November 18, 2018 Date Initially Reported to PCFR Personnel February 15, 2019 Date of Informal Inquiry Completed (If applicable) February 15, 2019 Complaint Forwarded to County Manager's Office for Determination February 15, 2019 Determination Forwarded to Office of Professional Standards (OPS) February 15, 2019 Administrative/Field Investigation Start Date February 15, 2019 Q@uministrative / Field Investigation Due Date May 16, 2019 Administrative /Field Investigation Completed Date March 1, 2019 Case Forwarded to OPS for Sufficiency Review nvestigations Assigned to Supervisors Only) Case Sent to County Manager's Office for Review March 1, 2 Case Forwarded to Command Review oolislig Command Review Due Date Chain of Command Meeting (if Applicable) Notice of Intent to Discipline (f Applicable) Pre-Disciplinary Hearing ([f Applicable) | | Employee Action Form Completed hulig Uf eve Case File Closed (Returned to OPS) ** For Administrative use only** This form shall become part of the investigation file. Polk County Fire Rescue Office of Professional Standards - Investigative Report File # 2019-AC-0005 On February 15, 2019, the Polk County Fire Rescue Professional Standards Office received information in reference to allegations that Captain James Williams violated department policy. The information received was in the form of a news story published by WISP Channel 10 showing a video allegedly taken and shared by Captain Williams. According to the source cited in the news story it was a common occurrence for Captain Williams to share images/videos he obtained while working. It was also determined Captain Williams access to the Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) has been denied. On February 15, 2019, Deputy County Manager Joe Halman ordered an Administrative Investigation into these allegations. Nature of Complaint: Captain Williams, while on the scene of a residential fire, took video of the fire scene and then subsequently shared the video with others. Also, it was determined Captain Williams’ access to the Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) has been denied. Additional Witness Information: On February 20, 2019 at approximately 0815 hours I spoke with Equity and Human Resources Director Kandis Buford. The conversation was via telephone and was not audio recorded. Ms. Buford stated she remembered a conversation with Williams regarding his access to CJIS being denied but at the time she spoke with him it was her recollection he still had access. She said as she remembers it there was a discussion regarding another employee who had their access denied and Williams’ name came up as someone else who also might have an issue. Buford said when she spoke with Williams he told her he was able to sign in and access the system and was having no problems at that time. Buford said she told Williams she would look into the situation and if she needed to she would get back with him. Buford said she does not recall any conversation regarding members being “grandfathered” in the system. Captain = Cr On February 19, 2019, I obtained a sworn audio-recorded statement from Captain Williams, who is listed as a subject member in this complaint. Williams's chosen representative, Brian Golden was also present during the interview. Williams was given the Garrity Warning prior to the interview. The interview was conducted at Polk County Fire Rescue Headquarters located at 1295 Brice Boulevard, Bartow, FL. The following is a summary of Williams’ sworn testimony. When questioned about the video Williams admitted he had taken the video. Williams said he took the video due to the unusual nature of the fire and so he could use it when he reviewed the situation with his crew. He said at this particular incident there were multiple crews on scene. He said he had been inside the residence fighting the fire and his crew rotated out so another crew could come in and take over. Williams said he was in “rehab” standing in front of the residence