Seminole County sergeant given written warning after admitting to lack of oversight of direct report

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — The fallout continues following an investigation into parking tickets that cost one of Central Florida’s most respected human trafficking investigators his position.

This summer, Seminole County Detective Maurice Edwards was reassigned to courthouse security after his county vehicle was booted for unpaid parking tickets. Now we’ve learned his supervisor was given a written warning after admitting he had very little knowledge of what Edwards was up to.

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Sgt. Daxter Girard admitted he “didn’t do anything” to verify whether the tickets Edwards racked up were received during his work duties, and that his only correspondence with Edwards about the tickets was an email stating, “No more illegal parking! And you should be in the clear.”

Girard was given a written warning for carelessness after he told internal affairs in an interview that Edwards “really didn’t have that many cases as for human trafficking … think maybe a total of seven?”

READ: Top human trafficking investigator reassigned after parking tickets

The sergeant seemed to cut down his own detective’s experience, stating, “Moe, for some reason, classified as like a professional expert on HT cases even though he’s only had like three cases.”

Human trafficking cases are arguably some of the most time-consuming to work on in Central Florida, which consistently ranks in the top-three metro areas for the issue nationwide.

READ: ‘No one is above the law’: Prominent Central Florida defense attorney arrested

When Girard was asked whether he had ever reached out to the Federal Bureau of Investigation or Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation about the cases Edwards was working, Girard said, “I’ve never been directed to who any of these people are … the only communication I get was a monthly statement that I sign authorizing his hours, according to time card. I’ve never met these people, never got their names, never told exactly how his thing works.”

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Karla Ray

Karla Ray, WFTV.com

Karla Ray anchors Eyewitness News This Morning on Saturday and Sundays, and is an investigative reporter for the 9 Investigates unit.