BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - A Brevard County deputy is back on the job more than five years after he retired in the midst of an internal investigation.
A tractor-trailer taking freshly minted nickels crashed along Interstate 95 in 2008, sending tons of coins onto the road. Deputy Glen Thomas was one of four sheriff's employees accused of picking up some nickels after the crash was cleared, but he left the agency before it decided whether he would be punished.
In March, Thomas was re-hired by the Sheriff's Office, and the sheriff said he has no regrets in the move.
In a written statement, Sheriff Wayne Ivey said, "Work performance since he returned to the agency has been stellar."
Thomas spent 20 years with the Sheriff's Office before he retired in October 2008, while being investigated for violating agency policy under then-Sheriff Jack Parker.
The retirement came less than a month after millions of newly minted nickels spilled onto the roadway. After the scene was cleared, four sheriff's employees, including Thomas, were accused of picking up about $70 worth of coins. Thomas was one of them.
There was no investigation against Thomas at the time which would have prevented him from being re-hired.
"There is no indication that if he had not retired he would have been found guilty of any wrong doing," said WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer.
Two other sheriff's deputies, however, were disciplined. Deputies William Fletcher and Andrew Johnson are still employed with the department.
Deputy Samuel Anderson resigned.
Ivey said Thomas was one of the deputies involved in incident, but added his background review determined that Thomas performed exemplary in subsequent employment.
"I have absolutely no regret in rehiring Deputy Thomas," said Ivey.
"Aren't we innocent until proven guilty? I think we should afford this deputy that same standard," said Sheaffer.
Thomas is currently working as a patrol deputy.