Credit: WINK News.

Charlotte corrections deputy accused of ‘violating policy’ and ‘lying’ over inmate death

At the conclusion of an internal investigation that began on January 13 of this year, the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office decided to remove one of its correction deputies.

The lengthy investigation looked into the actions and decisions of corrections deputy Mark DeHart while on duty, before, during and after the suicide of an inmate, James Palmucci on October 26, 2020 at the Charlotte County Jail.

Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell provided a statement about the investigation regarding DeHart. “This deputy violated his oath and demonstrated a lack of integrity. The actions and inactions of former CDFC DeHart were unacceptable and do not reflect the high standards of this agency. Honesty is of utmost importance to me. Lying will unquestionably lead to your dismissal,” Prummel said.

Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office’s internal affairs staff and Sheriff Bill Prummell determined after the investigation was over, that former deputy DeHart did, in fact, violate Charlotte Sheriff’s Office policies. His violations included “Violation of Official Procedures or
Directives (Endangering Persons or Property) and Untruthfulness.”

These violations occurred when former deputy DeHart failed to effectively determine if lifesaving intervention was appropriate. He was also found to have provided false testimony surrounding the events at the time of Palmucci’s suicide.

The deputy was notified of CCSO’s plans to withdraw him from his appointment as a corrections deputy before leaving under the Family Medical Leave Act. His FMLA later expired and he was removed before the final discipline was imposed and the outcome of the investigation was known.

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