Major with Sarasota County Sheriff's Office suspended for "conduct unbecoming"
SARASOTA - The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office suspends a high ranking Major after he allegedly acted drunk and belligerent at a baseball game.
According to a Sheriff's Office Internal Affairs report obtained by the Herald-Tribune, Maj. Paul Richard is suspended without pay for 6 days The report alleges that on March 24, Maj. Richard, who was off duty at the time, was intoxicated, rude and discourteous toward fans and a North Port Police sergeant, who was in uniform working at the event.
A husband and wife who were with their children, report they saw "a gentleman who was obviously drunk yelling at several people which prompted them to file the report...
The family claims Richard "chastised and continually yelled, at them for allowing someone to leave their row of seats.
Richard admitted to IA investigators that he drank four 16–ounce beers in a six–inning span, but downplayed witnesses statements that he was drunk.
The sheriff in a memorandum stated in part:
“The only definitive evidence of alcohol consumption is Major Richard’s admission to consuming four beers during the game,” the Sheriff wrote. “Major Richard admits saying ‘down in front’ to patrons at the baseball game, but believes he was doing so in accordance with sports watching standards. Major Richard’s actions were offensive to other citizens and his conduct adversely affected the good order and reputation of the Sheriff’s Office.”