Tampering charge dropped against OPD officer; Job security still in question



ORLANDO, Fla. - A judge dropped the remaining charges against an Orlando police officer who had been repeatedly accused of domestic violence, but that doesn't mean his job is safe.

The Orlando police chief told Channel 9 Officer Danny Sidders is still under an internal investigation.

Sidders is still on desk duty at the Orlando Police Department and has not been put back on the street, even though both of his criminal charges have now been dropped.

Sidders was accused of trying to hide a gun he was ordered not to have by Orange County Circuit Judge Roger McDonald stemming from a domestic injunction involving Sidders' ex-wife.

But the judge, who only handles domestic cases, never did order Sidders not to have a firearm when he was off-duty, but when the question came up at a bond hearing, Mcdonald's office told another judge that he had intended to.

Prosecutors then dropped OPD’s evidence tampering charge against Sidders.

WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said the mistake was likely why the charge was dropped.

“Historically, a judge would have said, ‘You can't possess firearms when you're not on duty,’” said Sheaffer. “The judge didn't say it, but everyone assumed that he had.”

OPD is still investigating whether Sidders violated department policies over the gun and a battery charge involving his girlfriend, which was dropped last week.

“We still look at it within our policies, procedures and regulations, so it doesn't mean what happens in the court of law always predicts how the outcome of the investigation's going to be,” Rooney said.

OPD said the internal investigation is at the stage where it is going through the chain of command for approval, but there’s no word on when it will be completed.