• 9 Investigates: DUI charge dropped against Orlando firefighter union president

    By: Michael Lopardi , WFTV Web Staff


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - 9 Investigates found prosecutors with the Orange-Osceola County State Attorney’s Office has dropped charges against the president of Orlando’s firefighter union.

    Orange County deputies arrested Ron Glass in 2015 after he was driving 82 mph in a 65 mph speeding zone.

    Glass went through a pretrial diversion program, but 9 Investigates reported earlier this month that he violated the program when he blew a .038 into an ignition interlock device in December.

    Read: 9 Investigates: Orlando fire union president's fight against DUI allegations

    Glass was set to go to trial, but prosecutors dropped the case. A spokesperson for the state attorney’s office said Glass had already satisfied all of the other requirements, including community service, and had just a month left with the interlock.

    “It's completely within the discretion of the assistant state attorney handling the case to let him finish the program,” said WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer.

    Sheaffer said the decision is generally made on a case-by-case basis. The state attorney's office said dropping a case after a violation isn't common, but does happen, and noted the device stopped Glass from driving.

    “The timing, obviously, is horrible,” said vice president Wayne Bernoska, Orlando Professional Firefighters IAFF local 1365.

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    Bernoska said the timing is horrible because Glass is now president of the firefighters union. The union said it's opposed to efforts by the city to implement random drug and alcohol testing as part of a new contract following a rise in accidents.

    “An off-duty incident wouldn't have changed anything about an accident on-duty,” said Bernoska.

    The city already tests firefighters during their annual physical and can also test based on suspicion. Bernoska said Glass's situation was a personal matter and shouldn't be tied to contract discussions.

    Read: 9 Investigates: Drug testing heated issue in Orlando firefighters' contracts

    A city spokesperson said the case has not played a role in the discussions.

    Glass told Eyewitness News the DUI case was a personal matter handled through the legal system and he did not want to comment further.

    The union said it believes the current drug testing policy is sufficient.

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