Thursday, February 22, 2018
Public safety

Pinellas jail deputy arrested for doctor shopping is demoted

CLEARWATER — A Pinellas County sheriff's deputy has been demoted in the wake of her arrest last fall on multiple charges of "doctor shopping" to illegally obtain prescription pills.

Michelle Licavoli, 42, a corrections officer at the Pinellas County Jail, was reduced in rank from corporal to deputy last month by Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, according to records of an internal affairs investigation released this week. Court records state that Licavoli lives in Clearwater.

Licavoli was arrested by Clearwater police Sept. 20 on three felony counts of doctor shopping, according to jail records. Sheriff's Office records state that the charges were resolved by the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office through a pretrial intervention program.

As part of the discipline meted out by the Sheriff's Office, Licavoli also received a seven-day suspension. However, those days were rolled into 3 1/2 months of unpaid leave Licavoli had already served during the internal investigation, Gualtieri said.

Licavoli could not be reached for comment.

Gualtieri said he believed the discipline was appropriate for a Sheriff's Office employee who had struggled with what was, at its root, a medical problem. He said Licavoli became addicted to pain pills originally prescribed to her because of health problems.

"This is a person, in many respects, who is a victim of circumstance, because she was an addict. Luckily for her, she got caught," Gualtieri said.

He said Licavoli's arrest highlights the extent to which substance-abuse problems — in particular, addiction to pain-relieving prescription narcotics, which in recent years has posed such a problem in Pinellas County — can affect anyone, even a sworn corrections officer.

"With what we face in this problem, as a society, but for the grace of God, there go any of us," Gualtieri said.

Licavoli's ex-husband, former Pinellas sheriff's Deputy Robert F. Johnson, resigned last month after being confronted with multiple misconduct allegations. Among other things, he was accused of alerting Licavoli that she was the subject of a drug investigation before her arrest. Johnson was also accused of trying to pick up a prostitute.

Clearwater police said reports on their investigation of Licavoli were not immediately available.

Peter Jamison can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 445-4157. To write a letter to the editor, visit tampabay.com/letters.

Comments
Two male students arrested for threatening their schools; no weapons found

Two male students arrested for threatening their schools; no weapons found

Two male students were arrested Wednesday on charges that they made threats against their respective schools, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.The threats were not credible and neither took steps to carry out those threats, deput...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Former Florida Rep. Robert Wallace jumps from Tampa overpass

Former Florida Rep. Robert Wallace jumps from Tampa overpass

TAMPA — Former Florida state Rep. Robert Wallace ended his life Monday night by jumping from a Dale Mabry Highway overpass, records show. He was 65.At least one witness saw Wallace plunge 40 to 50 feet onto Gunn Highway, according to a Hillsborough C...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Two male students arrested for threatening their schools; no weapons found

Two male students were arrested Wednesday on charges that they made threats against their respective schools, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.The threats were not credible and neither took steps to carry out those threats, deput...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Man arrested after 3-year-old girl in his care found wandering streets

Man arrested after 3-year-old girl in his care found wandering streets

PORT RICHEY — A 59-year-old man was arrested Tuesday evening after a 3-year-old girl in his care was found wandering outside alone, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.Deputies said they were sent to Larry Dixon’s residence at 8710 Bench D...
Published: 02/21/18
Largo police investigating fatal hit-and-run crash on East Bay Drive

Largo police investigating fatal hit-and-run crash on East Bay Drive

LARGO — Police have identified the pedestrian in a fatal hit-and-run Wednesday morning.According to Largo police, 75-year-old John William English Jr. was struck and killed by a car about 6 a.m. at Wertz Drive. The crash shut down the eastbound lanes...
Published: 02/21/18
Parents of Seminole Heights killings suspect processed at jail for house arrest

Parents of Seminole Heights killings suspect processed at jail for house arrest

TAMPA — The parents of a man accused in last year’s Seminole Heights killings reported to a Hillsborough County jail Wednesday morning to be outfitted with the GPS monitors they’ll wear during their six months of house arrest.Rosita Donaldson was boo...
Published: 02/21/18
Police: Teen, 17, shoots Pinellas Park man who confronted him after car break-in

Police: Teen, 17, shoots Pinellas Park man who confronted him after car break-in

PINELLAS PARK — A Pinellas Park teen faces a charge of attempted murder after police say he stole a gun from an unlocked vehicle and shot the owner as he tried to give chase.Police say Brandon Paul Roman, 17, faces charges including attempted murder,...
Published: 02/21/18
Pedestrian killed by hit-and-run driver in Tampa

Pedestrian killed by hit-and-run driver in Tampa

TAMPA — A pedestrian was fatally struck by a hit-and-run vehicle early Wednesday morning.Police say the pedestrian died at the scene after being struck in the 6900 block of E Adamo Drive.Eastbound lanes are closed at S Maydell Drive, according to the...
Published: 02/21/18
Her brother was a Hillsborough firefighter. Then he overdosed. What she hopes you learn from her hero.

Her brother was a Hillsborough firefighter. Then he overdosed. What she hopes you learn from her hero.

Editor’s note: This essay was written for the Tampa Bay Times by Dina Perez, the sister of Nick Perez, a Hillsborough County Fire Rescue employee who died in 2016 at age 27.You see firefighters and first responders on TV and they look like superheroe...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/21/18
Fingerprint on Gatorade bottle leads to arrest of man, 23, in sexual assault of 71-year-old woman

Fingerprint on Gatorade bottle leads to arrest of man, 23, in sexual assault of 71-year-old woman

NEW PORT RICHEY — The 23-year-old man wanted in connection with sexually assaulting a 71-year-old woman on Monday left behind the clue that deputies said led them right to him: A fingerprint on a Gatorade bottle.Deputies said that and other evidence ...
Published: 02/20/18