News Cast for February 7th:
A former Osceola County Sheriff’s deputy loses his career for helping a child hood friend avoid arrest.
Arturo Dominquez pled no contest to accessory after the fact to a 2nd degree felony and official misconduct.
He gets 60 days in jail and three years’ probation and can never work as a law enforcement officer again in Florida.
The prosecution dropped two charges in the case.
Dominguez admitted to using law enforcement data bases to check for warrants for his friend Omar Ayala, who fled the country. Ayala since has voluntarily returned to face a sex crime against a minor charge in Okeechobee.
The deputy ran his name 11 times over a three day period last April checking for arrest warrants for Ayala. When contacted about it he claimed he made a traffic stop on Ayala in Osceola.
Osceola deputies investigated his body camera and patrol car video and found no such traffic stop.
Dominguez told the investigators he had known Ayala since childhood and were very close. He noted Ayala had left town with his brother for work and disappeared. He said he was worried about him so he checked official record bases to see if he had turned up.
He later changed his story and admitted that he advised Ayala to run because he didn’t want his friend to kill himself. He also
claimed Ayala told him he had a sexual relationship with the minor.
The state is considering legislation to move homeless people into camps with security, bathrooms, and social services.
Bill sponsor Senator Jonathan Martin said there is a mental health crisis in the state and it is getting worse.
He said many parks are now over run with the homeless.
“We want to make sur ethat law abiding citizens, people who pay their tax dollars, have every right to use public facilities, have that right. We are talking about overnight sleeping and make that more clear.”
Governor Ron DeSantis supports the basic premise of the bill and announced a plan to help the homeless this week.
His plan prohibits camps on city streets, sidewalks and parks.
It also creates state enforcement tools to make sure local governments comply.
The plan also increases funding for homeless shelters, requires occupants not to use drugs and alcohol, requires social services, and provides more funding for substance abuse and mental health treatment.
The Florida Ethics commission fined and reprimanded the former chairman of the Coquina Water Management District Board David Law.
Commission Advocate Melody Hadley said the commission found he had violated Florida nepotism laws.
The board had hired Law’s son as a part time equipment operator and law set the pay level.
Three months later Law directed staff to make him a full time employee. Records showed the son had not applied for the position and that two other applicants were passed over.
The fine is $4,250 dollars.