Officials: Police Chief Tried To Cover Up Sex Battery On Child

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ORLANDO, Fla.,None — Windermere Police Chief Daniel Saylor will appear before a judge Thursday morning. Saylor was arrested on two felony charges for allegedly covering up the reported sexual battery of a person under the age of 12, FDLE announced Wednesday.

On Wednesday night, Saylor's attorney told WFTV his client would stay in jail until his court appearance scheduled for 9:00am Thursday.

"Things are not what they seem to be and we are preparing for court tomorrow," said attorney Mark NeJame. "We've had several people working on this all day."

Saylor, 44, was booked into the Orange County jail Wednesday morning and is being held on no bond. No other Windermere officers are in trouble right now, but investigators certainly left the door open for more arrests when WFTV asked them about it Wednesday afternoon.

Suspect Daniel Saylor full mug NOT BLURB 011211 Daniel Saylor Daniel Saylor According to FDLE, Saylor "is being charged with one count of giving unlawful compensation for official behavior, a second-degree felony, and one count official misconduct, a third-degree felony."

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The investigation into Saylor began in July 2010 after the state received information that he terminated an investigation of a sexual battery of a child to keep a friend from going to jail. The State Attorney's Office said they worked with the Department of Children and Families and the Orange County Sheriff's Office to confirm the allegation.

"It was brought to our attention. Someone came in and reported it [back in July]," said Joy Dawley, FDLE, describing how they learned of the case (watch press conference). Charging documents show another officer might have helped investigators uncover the obstruction.

Suspect Scott Frederick Bush MUG 011211 Scott Bush Scott Frederick Bush In addition to the arrest of Saylor, investigators also arrested Scott Frederick Bush, 50, and charged him with sexual battery on a person less than 12 years of age, a capital felony and lewd and lascivious acts upon a minor, a third-degree felony. Bush is being held on no bond and will also appear before a judge Thursday at 9:00am.

Investigators said the battery allegations occurred in 2003.

"Reports of those incidents were derailed by the chief of police trying to help someone that he knew, for whatever reason," Lamar said.

According to a release issued Wednesday afternoon by FDLE, "Saylor offered incentives to members of his department to influence them to provide untruthful testimony to FDLE and destroy material evidence." Among those incentives, Lamar said, was "time off with pay, transfers from night duty to day shift, a promotion or a letter of recommendation."

"The facts are pretty ugly," State Attorney Lawson Lamar said. "We're going to be very, very tight on what we're going to say ... We do not want to publicize the case overly at all."

The town of Windermere is fully cooperating, Lamar said, and early Wednesday evening Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings announced the city of Windermere is naming sheriff's office Captain Ralph Groover as interim police chief.

"The sheriff has offered all of the resources of the sheriff's office to assist the town of Windermere, if necessary," Groover said early Wednesday evening.

Windermere leaders relieved Saylor of duty without pay, but struggled to defend the decision to hire him in the first place when he already had a questionable record as an officer in Melbourne.

"We did do a full investigation into his background at that time and it was determined that he was, um, good material for our chief," town manager Cecilia Bernier said.

Saylor has been chief of the Windermere Police Department since 2002. He's obtained high-profile Orlando attorney Mark NeJame to handle his case. Prosecutors are looking into whether Saylor might have tried this kind of obstruction on another case, but it's part of an ongoing investigation.

This isn't the first time Saylor has been accused of breaking the law as an officer. In 1996, reports show Orlando police stopped Saylor for allegedly picking up a prostitute on North Parramore Avenue.

Saylor was a Melbourne police officer at the time. He was not arrested and the case was handed over to Melbourne for an internal investigation. He resigned from the Melbourne Police Department later that month.

Meanwhile, WFTV learned DCF actually investigated Bush for sex abuse in 2003 and 2009, but it never led to an arrest.