Ft. Lauderdale, Florida might be best known for its college spring break scene and for partying, but a Pinellas County sheriff’s deputy took that a bit too literally.
Michael Szeliga was set to receive an award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving. In fact, he was in Ft. Lauderdale in the first place for a DUI law enforcement training seminar. The award was for making more than 100 DUI arrests.
We have to assume that Szeliga didn’t drive drunk to the event, but he did pack a bottle of Jameson Irish whiskey in his luggage and drove the event with two other deputies.
Szeliga, who is leaving the DUI unit, thought the MADD funded seminar no longer applied to him, so he skipped it and had a little pool party after pouring himself a few in his room. The rest is ironic history. From WFLA:
According to a 274-page Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office internal affairs investigation, Szeliga ran into trouble when one witness said he arrived staggeringly drunk at the Friday night banquet. That’s where Szeliga was supposed to receive his MADD award in front of about 200 other invited guests.
Gulfport Police Chief Robert Vincent encountered Szeliga outside of the banquet and suggested it wasn’t appropriate for Szeliga to attend the affair due to his intoxication. That lead to ‘disrespectful’ comments Szeliga directed toward Vincent, which prompted Vincent to seek out one of Szeliga’s supervisors and tell him Szeliga was ‘wasted.’
Naturally, Szeliga didn’t receive the award, but he did receive a one day suspension, with pay. I wonder if he got drunk that day?
Watch the report:
Featured image via Wikimedia