SANFORD, Fla. - Two former Winter Springs Police Department officers accused of making up an assault will never again wear a badge in Florida.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said any conviction for a perjury or false report case -- even if adjudication is withheld -- means those convicted no longer qualify to be an officer.
Former Winter Springs police Officer Andrew Graham sat in a courtroom Thursday, prepared to accept a plea deal after being accused of perjury and false reports.
9 Investigates first reported in February that Graham was accused of lying about being hit by the city's finance director in City Hall, telling FDLE agents his former colleague slapped him hard on the arm up to five times with an open right hand.
"There's not a doubt in my mind, if I was in uniform, I would have taken him for battery on a law enforcement officer right there," Graham said.
Video recorded Jan. 25 in the Winter Springs City Council chambers showed that the two men didn't have any contact that would have been considered assault.
Graham declined to comment outside court Thursday.
Even though what he fabricated could have led to false criminal charges against that city employee, Graham and fellow former Winter Springs police Officer Jason Casteel, who wrote the false report, will walk away without being labeled as criminals.
The men pleaded no contest to one count of false statements or reports, and adjudication was withheld. They were ordered to pay court costs of $263.
"Anybody that makes the choices they made (doesn't) deserve to practice in this profession," Winter Springs police Chief Kevin Brunelle said in a statement.
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