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Veteran deputy resigns in medication theft case

TAMPA — A 12-year Hillsborough County sheriff's deputy resigned last month, accused of taking prescription medication from a woman he pulled over during an off-duty traffic stop.

Cpl. William Hughes was in his unmarked car on July 23 when he stopped a woman for a traffic infraction at 9915 Adamo Drive, according to an internal affairs report released Tuesday.

Hughes, 35, in full uniform, asked permission to search the woman's car and took prescription medication from her purse.

He let the woman go without citing her and without ever calling into the Sheriff's Office communications center, as is protocol any time a deputy conducts a traffic stop, according to a heavily redacted version of the internal affairs summary.

Hughes later told detectives he intentionally stole the medication, according to the report.

The report did not specify the type of drug Hughes is accused of taking. Sheriff's Office attorney Mike Perotti said the redactions were required to protect the medical privacy of the victim.

Hughes, who started with the Sheriff's Office in 1996, was placed on administrative leave without pay at the time the internal affairs report was initiated, sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter said.

He resigned Oct. 14.

Carter said he would not be charged with a crime because the victim chose not to file paperwork seeking prosecution.

During the course of the investigation, Hughes told detectives he took prescription medication during his normal work hours without first notifying his supervisors, as is required. He took the drugs while working as a traffic corporal in District 3 and in the Crime Prevention Bureau.

Veteran deputy resigns in medication theft case 11/04/08 [Last modified: Monday, November 10, 2008 1:33pm]
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