Charles Swindle: FHP trooper who gave lawmakers special treatment wants his job back, lawyer says
Chris Trenkmann, WFTS
7:32 AM, Apr 2, 2013
11:57 AM, Apr 2, 2013
ORLANDO, Fla. - A Florida state trooper, fired for giving state lawmakers special treatment, wants his job back.
The attorney for Charles Swindle said his client did nothing wrong when he allowed two state representatives to have lesser penalties for speeding.
Dashcam video from Swindle's cruiser showed a traffic stop November 19 of last year. Newly elected representative Mike Clelland, (D) Lake Mary, was on his way to Tallahassee for his swearing-in ceremony. Clelland was clocked by Swindle doing 87 mph in a 70 zone. Swindle walked over to Clelland's black SUV and collected his license and registration.
After discovering that Clelland is a state lawmaker and a former firefighter, Swindle is seen on the video explaining how the representative can avoid the expensive speeding penalty.
"From one firefighter to another, I'm cutting you a break," Swindle said.
"Thank you. I appreciate that," Clelland responded.
"All right, I'm giving you two tickets and they are only going to cost you $10 apiece. The first was a $251 speeding ticket," Swindle explained.
At the conclusion of the traffic stop, Swindle wished the lawmaker well.
"Congratulations on getting elected," Swindle said.
"Thank you. Appreciate it," said Clelland.
"Drive safe here in Tallahassee," Swindle said.
Sid Matthew, the attorney for Swindle, said his client should get his job back because he was fired for doing something that is not only allowed, but taught at FHP.
"When you teach a trooper that he has that discretion, you cannot fire the trooper for exercising his discretion," Matthew said.
No word from FHP if the agency will consider rehiring Swindle.