Firefighters in Pompano Beach arrested for placing signs near Punta Gorda roads for their business

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. — Pompano Beach Fire Rescue will await a court's decision before considering action against two firefighters who were arrested in Charlotte County for illegally putting up a sign near Punta Gorda for their business.

Lewis Stouffer, 31, of Coconut Creek, and Craig Turturo, 32, of Boca Raton, were seen Tuesday putting a sign into the ground near Exit 161 of Interstate 75. It advertised their A New Life Pain Management business in Fort Myers, according to a sheriff's incident report.

The firefighters could not be reached for comment Wednesday despite several attempts by phone.

In Charlotte County, placing signs is punishable by up to a $500 fine per sign and up to 60 days in jail, officials said.

The men were arrested and given a notice to appear, a sheriff's spokesman said, but were not handcuffed or photographed.

Stouffer and Turturo also are directors of a second, state-registered pain-management business, Miami Dade Medical Solutions in Miami, records show.

At the request of Pompano Beach Fire Rescue, the Broward Sheriff's Office recently verified that the firefighters' pain-management companies are licensed by the state.

In addition, the men are directors of two Deerfield Beach companies: Pain Consulting and RX Systems, according to state records.

The firefighters joined the department on the same day in 2001.

Spokeswoman Sandra King said both have clean records and above-average evaluations that include thank-you letters from the public. Turturo earned $65,723 in salary and overtime in 2010; Stouffer took home $71,939 last year, she said.

"Even if the fire department is not happy with their choice of business, that is not a decision the fire department can make," King said.

The firefighters met with Chief Harry Small, documenting their operation and showing all was in order, she said.

"We did everything in our power to make sure they were operating a legal business," King said. "If law enforcement is OK with it, we're OK with it."

The department won't consider action against the firefighters unless they are convicted, King said.

They are to appear in court Dec. 7.

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