Ethics complaint dismissed against Palm Beach County State Attorney MIchael McAuliffe

Centered on controversial police dash cam video

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A state ethics complaint against the Palm Beach County State Attorney has been dismissed.

The complaint, filed against Palm Beach County State Attorney Michael McAuliffe in October, centered around a 2008 case involving two West Palm Beach police officers caught on police dash cam video punching and kicking a suspect.  

State prosecutors originally planned to prosecute officers Louis Schwartz and Kurt Graham.  But in September, after 2 years of working on the case, McAuliffe announced they were dropping the most serious charges against the officers. He cited, among other things, new video shown to him by the defense.  

The enhanced video, according to McAuliffe, shows the suspect triggering the cops to react.  

A few weeks after the state dropped the criminal charges, Rick Sessa, a retired cop and host of real cop talk radio, filed an ethics complaint against McAuliffe.  

Sessa believes McAuliffe was politically motivated.  

About one month before McAuliffe's decision to drop charges, NewsChannel 5 confirmed McAuliffe met with the local police union, something he does several times a year.  

In Sessa's complaint to the State Ethics Commission, he writes, "This meeting was for the purpose of Michael McAuliffe attempting to gain political support and or endorsement of the PBA for his upcoming election in 2012."  

McAuliffe, vehemently, denies the accusation.  He did not comment on the dismissal of the ethics complaint.

Sessa said, "I find these findings unfortunate but not surprising, because without the fact of someone directly involved in these meetings between the State Attorney and the Police Benevolent Association to drop the charges being honest and ethical enough to come forward completely, there remains the question of impropriety for political and or other types of gain. I was hoping that someone involved in that process, be it from the State Attorney's Office, PBA or some other faction would step up to the plate with the whole truth upon this investigation. However, I believe that the citizens of Palm Beach County and beyond are savvy enough to come to the proper conclusion of what really happened in this case. As for me I will continue to assist our residents in the pursuit and exposure of unethical and corrupt actions by those elected and trusted as public officials. Especially as it relates to the law enforcement field which should be held to a higher standard."

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