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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Sheriff: Pinellas deputy called in sick, was actually in Las Vegas



What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas.
A Pinellas Sheriff’s detention deputy learned that last week when she was suspended for 120 hours after calling in sick while vacationing in Las Vegas.
Deputy Jeanette Pettiford, 38, requested two vacation days in June. She went to Vegas, and on her third day there, called her supervisor and said she needed to take a sick day, records state.
But on that same day, Pettiford was the victim of an assault, Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said. When she returned to Pinellas, she received a subpoena to return to Vegas for the case. In an agency memo, Pettiford stated she was the witness to a crime in April, when she had previously visited Nevada.
Investigators reviewed her memo and contacted police in Vegas. They discovered Pettiford was not a witness, but in fact a victim, and that the incident had happened on the day she claimed to be sick, Gualtieri said.
“Her luck couldn’t be any worse,” the sheriff added.
She eventually admitted to lying. Pettiford, who has been with the Sheriff’s Office for about eight years, began her unpaid suspension this month.
“She came in and did the right thing and admitted what she had done and fully accepted the responsibility for her actions,” Gualtieri said. “This is a stupid thing, but they make it worse if they don’t tell the truth.”


[Last modified: Wednesday, October 28, 2015 9:56am]


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