Lake County sheriff's lieutenant fired after tryst with co-worker's wife, report says

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. — A Lake County Sheriff’s Office lieutenant was fired after violating policy by having an affair with a fellow lieutenant’s wife, an internal investigation report said.

The former lieutenant, Phil Buffington, admitted sending the woman inappropriate text messages but denied ever having sex with her, the 22-page investigation report said.

Document: Internal investigation about Phil Buffington

The situation started in 2013 around the time Buffington and fellow SWAT Team member, Shawn Vance, talked about having a “threesome” with Vance’s wife, Alissa, the report said.

The three never went through with the encounter, and Shawn Vance told investigators he found Buffington and his wife, Alissa, were exchanging “inappropriate and explicit” text messages.

While looking at his wife’s personal email account two years later, Shawn Vance said he found an email Alissa had sent Buffington that explicitly stated the two had sex, the report said.

On Aug. 24, 2015, Shawn Vance filed a formal complaint with the Sheriff’s Office, the investigation report said.

When confronted, Alissa Vance told investigators she and Buffington had sex on several occasions, including once when he was on duty and her husband was at work.

Buffington, a 12-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, claimed Alissa Vance was obsessed with him, and she and her husband were making up the story to ruin his career.

In part, he blamed a mix of sleeping pills and alcohol for Alissa Vance’s statements, the report said.

In general, he told investigators he did not know why Shawn and Alissa Vance were making the accusations against him.

“I have no explanation to what she’s doing or what (Shawn Vance) is, other than the fact that I think they are both nuts,” the report quotes Buffington as saying. “I think she is crazy. I think she had an obsession with me.”

The former lieutenant initially agreed to take a lie detector test but later backed out, the report said.

Alissa Vance took a lie detector test and passed, it said.

The internal investigation report also said Buffington had been counseled in the past for making inappropriate comments to several other deputy’s wives.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office has a policy in place that bans employees from having sex with a co-worker’s spouse.

The internal investigation into Shawn Vance's allegations was finalized in October 2015.

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