• Lake County sheriff's detective suspended amid secret recording accusations


    LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - A Lake County sheriff's detective is accused of illegally recording video and audio of people connected with a child custody battle in which he is involved.

    The detective, whose name is not being released because he is an undercover narcotics agent, is on administrative leave, according to sheriff's officials. State law allows the department to withhold his name.

    The detective is accused of recording his former wife and others without their permission. Florida law requires that a person grant permission before being recorded.

    "Recording someone's conversation without their permission is a felony offense," WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said.

    Raw: WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer on secret recordings

    Sheriff's officials said the alleged recordings were not job-related.

    "The activity is in no way, shape or form related to any official assignment he had as a deputy sheriff," John Herrell of the Lake County Sheriff's Office said.

    Herrell said investigators are still looking into how the recordings were obtained. They said they don't know if any sheriff's equipment was used.

    Channel 9's Myrt Price asked Herrell if there were any concerns about detectives from the sheriff's office investigating one of their own.

    "Our criminal investigations bureau is very good at conducting thorough investigations. They remain very objective in a situation like this, and they're going to just keep moving forward and do their thing until the investigation is complete," Herrell said.

    Sheaffer said that if formal charges are filed against the detective, his identity will become public record.

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