Capt. Sterling King is accused of fixing a ticket for a female driver and making sexual comments.
"King stopped Alaina Renae Edgemon, 24, in May 2004 for speeding. After issuing her the ticket, he began to tell her about sexual experiences he had at a nudist colony, according to the dismissal letter.
Florida Highway Patrol Fires District Commander
By Associated Press
Published August 3, 2005
ORLANDO - A Florida Highway Patrol district commander has been fired and faces criminal charges for fixing the ticket of a woman he spoke to in a sexually explicit manner, officials said Tuesday.
Capt. Sterling King, the Orlando district commander who previously worked in Tampa for about six years, was arrested Monday on charges of felony official misconduct and making a false official statement, a misdemeanor. He was released on $2,500 bail.
The felony charge can be punished with five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
King, 44, used agency letterhead to ask a traffic hearing officer to dismiss a traffic citation he had given a female driver, claiming he had mistaken her identity, according to his FHP dismissal letter.
King stopped Alaina Renae Edgemon, 24, in May 2004 for speeding. After issuing her the ticket, he began to tell her about sexual experiences he had at a nudist colony, according to the dismissal letter.
He also asked to see a bag of condoms she had in her glove compartment and then took several, the letter said.
"Ms. Edgemon said she was mortified that this was happening," said the letter written by Col. Christopher Knight, the FHP's director. "She said this conversation was out of the blue and she did nothing to encourage this behavior."
After King gave Edgemon her ticket, she asked if he could instead just give her a warning. He allegedly told her that if she challenged the ticket, he could make sure that her case never went to court.
They exchanged several e-mails in which King explained how to request a hearing and then told her he had initiated the dismissal of her citation, according to the dismissal letter.
Maj. Ernesto Duarte, chief of public affairs for the Florida Highway Patrol, said the traffic stop incident surfaced during the course of another investigation of King. He declined further comment.
"There were allegations that were brought," Duarte said. "Our agency conducted an investigation ... and as a result of the findings, he has been terminated."
King worked in Tampa for about six years, where he was a public information officer.
He was promoted to captain and assigned to Miami about 21/2 years ago. He served a year in Miami before being transferred to Orange County, where he was district commander for a year and a half, Duarte said.
There is no probe into King's activities while he worked in Tampa, Duarte said, and there is nothing to indicate alleged improprieties here.
"Not that we're aware of at this time," Duarte said.
King doesn't have a telephone listing and couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday.
Times staff writer Justin George contributed to this report.
[Last modified August 3, 2005, 00:35:13]
FHP officer fired for misconduct and fixing a ticket
04 Aug 2005
By Brian McBride News-Gazette Staff Writer
A Florida Highway Patrol captain, who frightened a woman he pulled over for speeding with explicit sexual details of his life, was arrested and charged with misconduct and making false statements after fixing a ticket he gave her.
Capt. Sterling King, 44, a 22-year patrol veteran and a resident of Polk County, oversaw 65 troopers between Orange and Osceola counties before agency administrators fired him Monday.
According to a patrol investigation, King had sent a letter to an Osceola traffic hearing officer last year “with corrupt intent” requesting that a citation he wrote for a woman in Osceola County in May of 2004 be dismissed due to a mistaken identity.
He was charged with official misconduct when he drafted the letter on official Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle letterhead and also with false official statements when he “knowingly made a false statement in writing with intent to mislead” the hearing officer, said Col. Christopher Knight in a dismissal letter.
After a warrant was issued for King’s arrest, he surrendered to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office Monday. He was freed on a $2,500 bond.
“We felt it was in the best interest of the public and the agency that Capt. King be terminated,” said Maj. Ernesto Duarte at the state office in Tallahassee. “The Florida Highway Patrol does not tolerate misconduct by any means.”
The incident stemmed from the traffic stop on May 10, 2004, when King pulled over a 24-year-old woman for speeding on State Road 417 near U.S. Highway 192. She was traveling 74 mph in a 65 mph zone, patrol Sheriff’s Office reports said.
The woman told authorities that after King issued her the ticket, he began to talk about intimate, personal sexual acts he had at a nudist colony while other people watched.
The woman stated she was frightened and “mortified by King’s behavior.” She also said that the conversation “was out of the blue” and she did nothing to encourage King’s behavior.
During the stop, the woman opened her glove box where King noticed a plastic bag with condoms inside. King took the bag, sorted through the condoms, and took some, reports said.
When the woman asked if King couldn’t have just written her a warning, he said he’d take care of the ticket, reports said.
Saying it would be too much paperwork just to rip the ticket up, King told the woman he would show her how to get the ticket dismissed, reports said. Over the following 19 weeks, he sent 24 e-mail messages discussing disposing of the citation and then notified the woman that he sent the letter to the traffic hearing officer. The case was later dismissed.
“Your actions and subsequent arrest have brought extreme discredit to the agency and hinders the department’s credibility with the public and the courts and your ability to continue to serve as a law enforcement officer and member of this department,” said Knight in the notice.
Duarte said a separate investigation on King had brought the misconduct charges to the surface. Duarte wouldn’t comment on that investigation because it was still ongoing.
“It’s an unfortunate situation,” Duarte said. “But in the end we have to do what is expected of us.”
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