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  1. #1
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    Congratulations Donnie Weathers !!! Fame! Recognition! Pride! Winner!

    Police officer who had video of FMPD captain went from Brady List to Hendry County Sheriff's Office

    Devan Patel, Naples Daily NewsPublished 4:46 p.m. ET Nov. 14, 2019

    This is a six-month review of the most-read crime stories in Lee County on news-press.com from March 2019 to August 2019. Vonna Keomanyvong, vonna.keomanyvong@naplesnews.com; 239-213-5380

    Donald Weathers is the former Fort Myers detective who held onto the 6-year-old video that resulted in the arrest of Capt. Jay Rodriguez on prostitution, perjury and official misconduct charges.

    He also holds the dishonor of being among the 14 officers banned from testifying in criminal proceedings by the local state attorney’s office due to concerns over credibility.

    Weathers’ misdeeds included untruthfulness and failing to deactivate and disclose a video drug-buy in which a criminal informant performed a sex act on a man later arrested on different drug charges.

    This sabotaged several drug prosecutions, including the vacation of a man’s 5-year sentence from a conviction for the sale of heroin, and spawned a civil rights lawsuit from others who had their sentences overturned.

    Although he was terminated in 2017, the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office inexplicably hired Weathers, who previously cut his teeth at the department, one year after the state attorney’s office and Department of Law Enforcement felt a perjury charge was too difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Read: Fort Myers, police department face civil rights lawsuit because of confidential informant's sexual contact

    The Hendry County Sheriff’s Office did not respond to request for comment as to why it hired Weathers given his checkered past.

    Weathers’ credibility issues stem from a video drug buy on Feb. 26, 2016, that he failed to disclose.
    Weathers, another detective and assistant state attorney Hanna Renna and were lying in wait as their criminal informant, Vicki Neese, purchased heroin from Frank Thomas.

    During the purchase, Neese performed a sex act on Thomas. Thomas would be successfully prosecuted for another drug buy but his incident was omitted from an informant activity log, and he never faced charges for the actions that took place that day.

    Weathers also omitted this drug buy during a deposition and failed to deactivate Neese for what transpired, constituting a violation of department policy.

    The police department uncovered the exculpatory evidence in 2017 after Police Chief Derrick Diggs instructed Lt. Brian O’Reilly to conduct an audit of the Special Investigations Group’s expenditure reports and informant files.

    An internal affairs investigation ensued and sustained charges of untruthfulness in an official proceeding, criteria for deactivating informants and informant files.

    Weathers had maintained that Renna said he could charge Thomas with two other drug buys and was not required to disclose the Feb. 26, 2016, incident.

    Among those interviewed as part of the investigation was Rodriguez, then a lieutenant as part of the Special Investigations Group.

    Rodriguez said he was never shown the video and could not recall ever being told about the actions depicted in it. Rodriguez said if he had known of it, he would have deactivated the informant immediately and should have been disclosed as part of any prosecution.

    Jill Newhouse, a staff assistant with the department, and another detective told O’Reilly that Rodriguez was made aware of the video but did not know if any actions were taken. The state attorney’s office declined to prosecute Weathers for perjury in official proceedings, a third-degree felony, because he qualified many of his statements with “I think.”

    Sex, lies and videotape: Why the Special Investigations Group of the Fort Myers Police Department was reorganized

    Assistant state attorney Anthony Kunasek wrote in a memo that the language Weathers used made it “extremely difficult, if not impossible, to show the necessary criminal intent required by law.”
    Nonetheless, his credibility was tarnished.“However, based upon the review of the information submitted in its entirety, there is legitimate concern as to Detective Donald Weathers’ judgment and truthfulness,” Kunasek wrote. “This concern significantly impacts the confidence of the State Attorney’s Office and its ability to utilize him as a witness in current and future cases.”

    Weathers appealed his termination, but an arbitrator upheld the decision, according to records from the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission.

    An investigator for the commission also no-caused its investigation into Weathers on whether he committed a moral character violation, which could have resulted in his decertification.

    An investigator agreed that Weather’s language would prevent it from proving any charges beyond a reasonable doubt and also noted that Weather’s admitted to not being prepared when he misstated informant payment information.
    “The arbitrator stated the video and buy should have been disclosed, but only referred to an appearance of dishonesty. The perjury charge was not addressed. Staff recommends no cause based on the state’s attorney's position and lack of evidence to prove the charge, and legal concurs.”

    Records from the commission show Weathers was hired by the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office as the commission’s investigation was wrapping up.

    Shortly thereafter, Weathers provided the video a woman performing a sex act on Rodriguez during an operation to former officer O'Neil Kerr, who filed a complaint against Rodriguez.

    Weathers began his Florida career at the Hendry Correctional Institution in the late 1980s before making the jump to full-time law enforcement duties in the early 1990s.

    Among those sharing the same do-not-subpoena status in the 20th Judicial Circuit are:
    • Hendry County Sheriff’s Office: Germain Garcia and Robert Archer

  2. #2
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    How many other command staff have troubled history

    I feel this is just the tip of the iceberg

  3. #3
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    But he IS IN CHARGE of INVESTIGATIONS?

    He also holds the dishonor of being among the 14 officers banned from testifying in criminal proceedings by the local state attorney’s office due to concerns over credibility.

    An internal affairs investigation ensued and sustained charges of untruthfulness in an official proceeding, criteria for deactivating informants and informant files.

    Weathers appealed his termination, but an arbitrator upheld the decision, according to records from the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission.

    Among those sharing the same do-not-subpoena status in the 20th Judicial Circuit are:

    Hendry County Sheriff’s Office: Germain Garcia and Robert Archer
    Marco Island Police Department: Tige Thompson
    Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office: William Saxer and Eric Ireland
    Collier County Sheriff’s Office: Robbie Lewis and Charles Smith
    Lee County Sheriff’s Office: Raymond Gallagher and Selena Lee
    Cape Coral Police Department: Toni Palermo, Joshua Phelps and Kordelle McKissack
    Fort Myers Police Department: Matthew Vagi

  4. #4
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    Any officer below Weathers directly, as well as the overall employees of the agency now knows the true colors of Stephen Whidden.
    There went credibility, honor, ethics and morals out the door.

    Huge morale builder.

  5. #5
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    Dammit Karma!

    It truly does swing around again and takes those who are screaming the loudest.

    This story just confirms what has been claimed on this site for years. People weren't in the loop years back. But more and more each day learn the truth. And eventually the tables will turn.


    We are very disappointed working in this agency. Those who have nothing to do with history nor do we give a shit.

    But this affects us all. High time that it ends.

  6. #6
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    STFU then "Those who have nothing to do with history"

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    Dammit Karma!

    It truly does swing around again and takes those who are screaming the loudest.

    This story just confirms what has been claimed on this site for years. People weren't in the loop years back. But more and more each day learn the truth. And eventually the tables will turn.


    We are very disappointed working in this agency. Those who have nothing to do with history nor do we give a shit.

    But this affects us all. High time that it ends.
    high time for you to mind your business or move on... WTF is "We", nobody but "you"

    if it weren't for these people, you wouldnt have a job

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    Dammit Karma!

    It truly does swing around again and takes those who are screaming the loudest.

    This story just confirms what has been claimed on this site for years. People weren't in the loop years back. But more and more each day learn the truth. And eventually the tables will turn.


    We are very disappointed working in this agency. Those who have nothing to do with history nor do we give a shit.

    But this affects us all. High time that it ends.
    You take yourself very seriously Deputy Philosopher. Just what exactly confirms what has been claimed on this site for years? You want to speak big? Then speak straight or do need to wear your star and belt to type that too? "High time that it ends" so melodramatic. Go apply elsewhere then or you just want to take their spot? You aren't qualified.

  8. #8
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    such dramatic expressions "tip of the iceberg"

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    I feel this is just the tip of the iceberg
    F what "you feel" you couldn't explain one fact of anything right.

  9. #9
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    Reported whiteclaw shortage in Hendry

    If you drink the claw you are above the law. Where are my whidden supporters. Donnie get ready peaches is sharpening up his knife.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    If you drink the claw you are above the law. Where are my whidden supporters. Donnie get ready peaches is sharpening up his knife.
    Won't happen. There is a very special relationship between them that goes back when they worked here together in La Belle under different Sheriffs and when he would also practically follow some other crush of his call to call. It's when he got the nickname "Peaches" like the fruit in Georgia round. sweet.

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