The Florida Department of Law Enforcement found probable cause to proceed with charges that former Port Richey public safety director Mathias J. Brewi wrongly tape-recorded a verbal attack on patrol officer Bill Sager without his consent.
Brewi, 62, risks losing his law enforcement certification. An FDLE probable cause panel met Tuesday in Tallahassee and upheld an administrative charge about "interception and disclosure of wire, oral or electronic communications."
Now, Brewi, who no longer works for the city, has the following options:
He could request a formal hearing in front of the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission, or a hearing before an administrative law judge, to determine whether he violated state statute. One possible outcome could be the revocation of his law enforcement certification.
Brewi could also relinquish his certification and admit that he recorded the conversation, or relinquish his certification without admitting to anything.
FDLE officials say Brewi is no longer in law enforcement.
Sager, 52, who filed the complaint against Brewi last year, said he is in favor of Brewi's certification being taken away.
"I think he should have to answer for what he did," Sager said. "That (option) would be the most expedient."
Sager's complaint stemmed from an incident on May 16. Sager said he was called into Brewi's office and told to "sit down and shut up."
For 10 minutes, Sager said, Brewi accused him of trying to go behind his back during Brewi's one-year tenure as public safety director.
Acting Chief Dave Brown was also in Brewi's office that day. He had taken over for Brewi, who gave his two-weeks' notice that morning.
Sager said things soured with Brewi after Sager sent a memo to then-City Manager Jerry Calhoun about Brewi using the n-word during a conversation in 2007.
Sager learned through a public records request that Brewi had recorded the conversation.
In an e-mail to then-City Manager Richard Reade, Brewi wrote that he consulted an attorney before the conversation.
"Officer Sager was told not to interrupt me or say anything prior to the recorder being activated," Brewi wrote, so "according to law, I did not need to inform him of the recording."
Camille C. Spencer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 909-4609.