Former Windermere Police Chief Pleads No Contest To 4 Counts


ORLANDO, Fla.,None - Former Windermere Police Chief Daniel Saylor reached a plea deal Friday on the criminal charges he's facing.

Walking into Orange County court, Saylor didn't say a word. Inside the courtroom he begged for mercy.

"And I ask of you honor, to please have mercy on me," said Saylor.

Saylor initially pleaded not guilty to two counts of official misconduct, one count of solicitation to commit official misconduct and one count of solicitation to tamper with evidence. All are third-degree felonies.

During Friday's plea hearing, Sailor changed his plea from not guilty to no contest on four of the six felony charges he is facing.

He was arrested in January and fired from his job as Windermere police chief, after he was accused of trying to cover up the child sex case involving his friend Scott Bush. He was also accused of taking bribes from someone looking to get hired as a police officer.

It set off a wave of fireworks in the city that led to the firing of several officers in the department and the resignation of the town manager. On Friday, the defense called friends and family, including Sailor's 11-year-old daughter, to the stand to speak as character witnesses.

They told the judge that Saylor is a good man, who's already paid the price for his wrongdoing. Under Friday's plea agreement, the state will drop the bribery charge and a charge of accepting compensation for official behavior.

In exchange, he'll give up his law enforcement certificate and be adjudicated guilty on the remaining four felony charges. At the end of Saylor's hearing, he apologized.

"I did that to myself, and I understand that now. I take full responsibility for what happened," said Saylor.

Saylor faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced.

Previous Stories: May 4, 2011: Ex-Windermere Cop Accused Of Bribery Bonds Out April 28, 2011: Windermere Ex-Chief May Face More Charges April 27, 2011: Document: Arrested Top Cop Told FDLE "I Hate Pedophiles" March 25, 2011: Ex-Windermere Police Chief Faces New Charges January 27, 2011: Windermere Police Chief Fired At Town Hall Meeting