BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — A Boynton Beach police officer who was once honored with a heroism award has been fired after engaging in a sexual relationship with a woman he was supposed to be helping and sending her a sexually explicit video that he made while working in his patrol car, an agency memorandum revealed.
The Boynton Beach Police Department on Friday announced the termination of Officer Patrick Monteith.
According to a news release, the termination stems from a complaint received by the department's Internal Affairs division last April regarding an "inappropriate relationship."
"The investigation determined Officer Monteith was in violation of four department rules and regulations," including conduct unbecoming of a police officer, leading to his ouster.
Other violations were abuse of process, attentiveness to duty and a violation of the law enforcement officers code of ethics.
"The violations by Officer Patrick Monteith are completely unacceptable and go against the department's core values," Boynton Beach Police Chief Joseph DeGiulio said. "Our police officers are held to a higher standard and this type of behavior will not be accepted or tolerated."
According to a memo from Assistant Chief John Dale to DeGiulio, Monteith "established a personal relationship and then a sexual relationship" with a woman who was struggling with her alcohol dependency.
It revealed that Monteith had been called to the home on April 25, 2022, for a welfare check. Instead of providing her with the help that she needed, Monteith gave her his personal cellphone number and engaged in a sexual relationship with the woman, who believed that, because of her condition, "she was taken advantage of and manipulated by" Monteith.
The investigation uncovered that Monteith communicated with the woman "frequently to include phone calls while working, visits to her home and text messages with photographs of work-related activities and information."
According to the memo, Monteith sent the woman an explicit video six days after his initial visit. It's alleged that Monteith is "seen in uniform masturbating while seated in his Boynton Beach marked patrol unit."
Monteith admitted that the video was recorded while he was on duty, "but minimized the offense as he maintained it occurred within the privacy of his assigned marked vehicle."
The woman claimed that Monteith showed up at her home on the night after their initial encounter and "sat on her bed while exposing his penis."
Although she admitted that never communicated that she didn't want a sexual relationship with Monteith, "she felt the relationship was not consensual as she feared retaliation by Monteith as he was a police officer, had a key to her apartment and had access to firearms."
According to the memo, Monteith believed the relationship was consensual, but he was "fully aware" of her "struggle with alcohol dependency and difficulties in her personal life."
"By furthering a sexual relationship with an individual in need of services and creating on-duty videos of sex acts from his marked unit, Officer Monteith's behavior is offensive and serves to erode the public trust," Dale wrote.
The veteran officer was honored by the Boynton Beach Police Department with a heroism award in 2016 after he talked a man out of committing suicide and helped another man who was disabled out of a burning building.
Catherine Lowe, clinical director of the Drug Abuse Foundation in Delray Beach, spoke with WPTV about the impact that addiction can have on a person.
"If they are looking for a substance, if they need a substance, they are willing to do things in order to get it that they otherwise might not," Lowe said. "Someone could be easily influenced or manipulated if someone is seeking a substance or trying to avoid negative consequences of being involved in substance use."