Two Hernando deputies arrested - FOX 13 News

Two Hernando deputies arrested

Posted: Updated:
Sheriff Al Nienhuis Sheriff Al Nienhuis
Captain Scott Bierwiler (MyFOX file) Captain Scott Bierwiler (MyFOX file)

Sheriff's investigators arrested and charged two Hernando County Sheriff's Office employees accused of stealing tax dollars and donations to a fallen deputy memorial fund.

Deputy Michael Glatfelter, 51, of Brooksville, is accused of spending $14,000 during his time as treasurer of the Fraternal Order of Police's local chapter.

Sgt. Joseph Reid, 41, Brooksville, is accused of spending roughly $2,700 in tax dollars usually used for undercover VICE drug buys.

The sheriff's office opened an investigation on Glatfelter in August, four months after investigators were tipped off about accounting discrepancies.

Economic crimes detectives interviewed witnesses and FOP board members who explained that Glatfelter did not have permission to spend the organization's money.

Based on the investigation, Sheriff Al Nienhuis said Glatfelter conducted about 60 ATM cash withdrawals totaling $8,300 and spent another $5,300 on the organization's debit card.

"The most blatant suspicious transaction and potential criminal act was the removal of approximately $1,100 from the Scott Bierwiler Memorial Fund," according to a news release on the arrests.

Bierwiler was killed nearly four years ago when a 16-year-old crashed into him while the deputy was on his way to work.

"When you steal money from a widow and her family, particularly someone who died serving our county, it's tough. It's tough and it makes us very angry," Sheriff Nienhuis said.

Last week, detectives interviewed Glatfelter about these allegations and he "made admissions to the fraudulent acts he committed."

Both Glatfelter and Sgt. Reid submitted their resignations Thursday.

Investigators started looking into Reid earlier this month when rumors were circulating of missing narcotics funds typically used during undercover drug buys.

The sheriff's office said one of Reid's superiors was "supposedly aware" of the missing money and "may have used his own money to pay back funds that were either borrowed or stolen by Sgt. Reid."

Lt. Tom Garcia is on paid leave while this investigation continues.

The report indicates Reid was borrowing funds from other narcotics detectives, and records show he used those funds for personal use dating back to June 2011.

The sheriff's office charged Reid with one count of felony theft and Glatfelter with one count of felony theft and one of organized fraud.

If convicted, both men face up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine for each count.

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