An Okaloosa deputy sanctioned for lying about threats he made to businessman Eddie Perillo and his own superiors during an investigation into wrongdoing at the county’s School District has been terminated by the Florida Highway Patrol.
Trooper Glenn Hand was notified Oct. 17 he was being dismissed by the FHP. A letter announcing the dismissal and investigative documentation sustaining an allegation of untruthfulness against Hand were made public last week.
The state’s Office of Inspector General conducted an investigation into Hand on behalf of the FHP, records show. The report indicates questionable actions taken by FHP officers processing Hand’s application and background information.
FHP spokesman Capt. Thomas Pikul did not respond Monday to an inquiry about disciplinary action or further investigation resulting from the Hand case.
Allegations against Hand were that he’d “failed to disclose an internal investigation by a previous employer during the FHP hiring process” and “was untruthful during an internal investigation conducted by a previous employer.”
Investigators sustained just one charge, that Hand was untruthful to a previous employer.
Hand left the Sheriff’s Office in January after being notified he was the subject of an internal investigation. He was hired by the Highway Patrol Feb. 26 while still under investigation. The agency put Hand on paid administrative duty in July when the Inspector General launched its inquiry.
Not long after Hand was hired by FHP, the Sheriff’s Office sustained findings he had lied to investigators when he denied calling Perillo’s business and leaving a threatening message. He also was determined to have lied in denying making Facebook threats against two high ranking Sheriff’s Office officers.
The threats were made the day of and the day after three School District officials were arrested on child abuse-related charges stemming from the treatment of Perillo’s child. Hand is married to a school district employee.
The Inspector General’s Office interviewed seven people, all Highway Patrol officers, in conducting its investigation.
Investigators found that Trooper Laramie F. Battle, who conducted a background check on Hand prior to his hiring “did not find anything negative” in Hand’s Sheriff’s Office personnel file.
Hand "never told Battle he was involved in a criminal or internal investigation,” the report said.
FHP Capt. Ryan Martina told the Inspector General’s Office that Battle signed off on an incomplete report regarding Hand in Jan. 20, but did not turn it over to him until “late July or early August.” Martina required the report to be finished, investigators found and “agreed he should have paid closer attention.”
The report states that Martina was contacted by a Sheriff's Office captain in March 2018 who provided documentation of the investigation sustaining dishonesty charges against Hand, and “inform(ed) him Battle had been notified of the investigation … during his background investigation.”
Perillo also called Martina more than once regarding Hand, the investigation showed. Martina confirmed information provided by Perillo and passed it on to FHP Maj. Nancy Rasmussen.
Martina told investigators "he believes (Rasmussen)" is still in possession" of documents he passed along in May.
FHP Sgt. Ron Livingston told investigators he had known Hand for four years and that Hand had told him the Sheriff’s Office was conducting an internal investigation into his actions. Livingston advised Hand to contact Battle about the investigation but did not follow up to see if he had done so.