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Sheriff's deputy is cited for misconduct

A Pinellas County sheriff's deputy has been disciplined for misusing his position and releasing confidential information from a crime computer.

Donald Whalen, 44, was suspended for two days and given a written reprimand last week after an internal investigation was completed.

The incident occurred in mid-December at a Kash 'n Karry at 11201 Ulmerton Road in Largo. An employee who was a friend of Whalen and a store manager argued, and the friend later told Whalen.

Whalen, a 20-year veteran, went to the store, talked to the manager's supervisor on behalf of his friend and showed his badge. Whalen told the supervisor that the manager was on probation, and that Whalen had contacted the manager's probation officer, records state.

The supervisor reported the incident to sheriff's investigators, saying the deputy was "actually trying to scare us," according to records.