ORLANDO, Fla. - A state trooper is fighting to get his job back after he was fired for cutting lawmakers a break on their speeding tickets, one of whom was an elected official in Lake Mary, Channel 9 has learned.
Recorded dash camera video records audio and video of a Florida Highway Patrol trooper speeding to catch up to a black SUV.
The trooper behind the wheel was six-year veteran Charles Swindle, who is no longer on the job after an internal investigation showed he improperly issued traffic citations.
The video, which was taken in November, shows Swindle pulling over new elected Rep. Mike Clelland.
Clelland was on his way to Tallahasee to get sworn and was allegedly going 87 mph in a 70 mph zone, authorities said.
The trooper can be heard giving the new elected official and retired firefighter “a break.”
“From one firefighter to another, I'm going to give you a break,” Swindle can be heard saying. “I'm going to give you two tickets and they are only going to cost $10 a piece.”
FHP was tipped off to the trooper's actions after a representative from Jacksonville was extended the same "professional courtesy.”
But that representative was outraged the trooper cut him a break and complained about Swindle, which eventually led to his firing from the FHP.
Now, Swindle wants his job back, His attorney said his client cut lawmakers a break because other troopers do it.
“When you teach a trooper that he has that, he has that discretion, you cannot fire the trooper for using his discretion,” said attorney Sid Matthews.
Channel 9 asked Clelland about the incident and he said he doesn't think lawmakers should get a break on speeding tickets, but he said he was just following the trooper's instructions.