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Arrest of Deputy’s Wife Over Stolen Power Meters and Jewelry Triggers Internal Affairs Investigation

| January 14, 2014

FPL power meters and jewelry are at the center of accusations against Heather Nunziato.

FPL power meters and jewelry are at the center of accusations against Heather Nunziato.

Heather Anne Nunziato, the 39-year-old wife of Flagler County Sherifff’s deputy William Greg Nunziato, turned herself in at the Flagler County jail Monday on felony charges relating to  incidents that took place over the past 22 months. The charges triggered an internal affairs investigation of William Nunziato on Dec. 16. Nunziato, who goes by Greg, has been with the agency 13 years.

Nunziato is currently assigned to the Palm Coast precinct, where he takes in walk-in reports. He had previously been assigned to the Criminal Investigative Division.

A court case had already been opened regarding the charge that Heather Nunziato illegally installed power meters at the house she shares with her husband, after the power was cut off for non-payment. That case was opened last November. The more recent case entails dealing in stolen property.

According to Nunziato’s arrest report, Dawn Johnson, a 42-year-old acquaintance of Nunziato’s, filed a report with the Sheriff’s Office last May in which she claimed jewelry had gone missing from her house.  Johnson reported to the Sheriff’s Office that Heather Nunziato had allegedly admitted to her that she’d taken the jewelry and pawned it off at Leah’s Jewelry and Pawn in Palm Coast, but that she would get the jewelry back and return it. At the time. Johnson chose not to pursue charges, pending the return of the jewelry. Several weeks passed. Nunziato did not make good on her pledge. Johnson filed a complaint.

A sheriff’s investigation turned up the pawn transaction on March 26, when several pieces of jewelry were pawned in exchange of $850. Nunziato was connected to the transaction by records that included her driver’s license and a thumb print. Johnson confirmed that the jewelry at the pawn shop was hers.

The charging affidavit in the case was not issued until last week.

In November, another charging affidavit was filed with a count of larceny of a utility and a count of criminal mischief. That case began in October when a Flagler County Sheriff’s detective was told by a Florida Power and Light security manager that an unauthorized power meter was operating at the Nunziato residence. (Because William Nunziato is a law enforcement officer, his and his spouse’s address is exempt from public record disclosure.) The case evolved into a series of discoveries of power meters stolen from one place and re-installed either at the Nunziato house or at other houses from which a stolen meter would then find its way to the Nunziato house.

FPL had cut off power to the Nunziato residence on May 13, 2013, for non-payment of $1,863.07. (William Nunziato’s current salary is $46,706. When  he was with the Criminal Investigative Division, his salary was $49,722.)

On June 10, however, FPL recorded that the power meter had been activated again–but not by FPL’s doing. On June 13, an FPL agent went to the house and disconnected the meter again.

On July 16, FPL reported that a new meter had been installed at the Nunziato residence–again, not by FPL–and that it had been stolen from a house on Penn Manor Lane on June 13, the same day that power had been disconnected at the Nunziato house. The Penn Manor Lane resident reported the theft to the Sheriff’s Office, along with $600 in damages done to the resident’s breaker box, which had to be replaced.


On Sept. 11, yet another stolen power meter was discovered operating at the Nunziato residence, Hearther Nunziato’s arrest report shows. That one had been stolen from a house at 31 Penny Packer Lane in Palm Coast. On Oct. 24, FPL reported to the Sheriff’s Office that a power meter stolen from 26 Penny packer Lane was found operating at the Nunziato house, and that it had probably been stolen on Oct. 17. Meanwhile, the power meter that had been stolen from Penn Manor Lane on June 13 was found installed at 31 Penny Packer Lane on Oct. 7.

That wasn’t the end of it: a power meter stolen from a Pennfield Lane house on Oct. 10 was discovered running at the Nunziato residence on Oct. 16.  Finally on Oct. 24, FPL cut the actual power line stretching from the street to the Nunziato house, “to prevent further theft of power,” the police report states.

A Flagler County Sheriff’s detective interviewed both Nunziatos. “Greg,” the report notes, “denied all knowledge of the offenses and stated that his wife did it and she would tell me how.”

“I know why I am here today about the power and what not,” Heather Nunziato told the investigator during the Nov. 18 interview, according to the police report. “I did do it. He didn’t do anything[,] he didn’t know.” (The report excludes the comma, though its exclusion is a transcription error.) “I have been going through some problems and when it happened I didn’t want to tell him.”

Nunziato told the detective that she took the power meters from what she assumed were empty houses down the street from her house, on the next block and on Penn Manor. “They just pop right off like a plug,” she said, remembering that, in all, she took four meters, swapping them out from time to time. She said she learned to do it by watching an FPL employee disconnect her power.

“I did it and I’m sorry that I did it,” she said at the end of her interview, when asked if there was anything she wanted to add. “I just want to say that he didn’t know.”

Heather Nunziato was held on $4,000 bond at the Flagler County jail. She originally faced five first-degree misdemeanor charges relating to the power meter accusations. On Jan. 9, the State Attorney’s office upgraded the charge to a third-degree felony grand theft, because the aggregate value of the thefts exceeded $300. She still faces the criminal mischief charge, a first-degree misdemeanor. As the case was upgraded to a felony, it was moved out of county court and to circuit court.

Both Nunziatos have been taken to court on small claims matters previously. Heather Nunziato has a February pre-trial appearance before County Judge Melissa Moore Stens scheduled for February 7 in one such small claims matter.

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18 Responses for “Arrest of Deputy’s Wife Over Stolen Power Meters and Jewelry Triggers Internal Affairs Investigation”

  1. Gumbo says:

    I said 4 years ago…Don’t let FPL install those digital meters on your house…..Its bad VOODOO !!!

  2. Geno says:

    She must be exempt from the inmate search as well. Put her picture up like everyone elses, just saying

  3. fed up flagler says:

    Man and in the other thread someone pointed out how great the sheriff’s office was and should take over Bunnell

  4. Justin says:

    I know exactly where these people live I seen the police there early in the morning and I knew they were doing it.

  5. A.S.F. says:

    COME ON! Her husband has to be the stupidest or blindest person in the world not to notice the ongoing criminal activity in his own home. Did he think his utility bills were being paid by the tooth fairy? They are both criminals and they should both be accountable. I hope that Mr. Nunziato has been suspended from the department, pending completion of this investigation and disposition of the entire matter.

    • Ariana says:

      Not necessarily… If she was in charge if paying all the bills, and she was spending the money on something else (because, let’s face it, an $1800 electric bill isn’t from one our even two months)–whatever her”trouble” is–then he wouldn’t know anything about it. One meter looks like the next, and really, when’s the last time you went out and checked your meter? You wouldn’t know. As for the jewelry, she could have easily pawned that without his knowledge. So it’s easy to say he should have noticed, but who the heel would expect THIS from their spouse?

  6. Reaganomicon says:

    “Suspended with pay”

    • A.S.F. says:

      Suspended with pay? Then. I hope, if they are found guilty, that they will be required to pay full restitution to all the folks they ripped off and to the FPL, in that order and in full measure, even if it means garnishing Mr. Nunziato’s wages.

  7. mellissa says:

    Wow, what a disgrace and and embarrassing situation for her family to go through. I do hope she gets help. But I also hope she’s punished fully and doesn’t get special treatment. The law needs to make an example out of this woman.

  8. FC resident says:

    I call the BS flag on this one, and I think a thorough investigator would have taken her to the house and made her demonstrate how to change these power meters out. I bet dollars to doughnuts (no pun intended) she can’t swap these meters out. It is sad that they have to come to the point where they are stealing utilities and possessions from friends. Once a thief always a thief, and I can’t imagine this being acceptable with the sheriff’s office. The new Sheriff sure has fired people for much less.

    • Ariana says:

      Meanwhile there’s a particular Flagler County Deputy who has had 3 formal complaints in the past two years for using her position as a deputy to look up peoples personal information–that actually IS a terminable offense–and it had been repeatedly swept under the rug! It was done on work time too–sooooooo basically our tax $ paid for her to surf the Web & look up the records of others for personal gain, with no repercussions to her…. Way to go, Flagler County. Keep covering it up. It can even be proven, too, because everyone you do much as view a record in the computer, there is a digital footprint left behind. They just won’t look, so they won’t have to do a thing to her…

  9. Lights Out says:

    What an ELECTRIFYING article . I was SHOCKED to read about the crime. Seems there is a SURGE of criminal activity in Palm Coast lately. I wonder if our CURRENT sheriff will AMP up his campaign against crime !

  10. Heather says:

    I don’t buy it, the husband had to know. If not, then he’s not very good at criminal investigations.

    • Enlightened says:

      Wow! Another deputy on the chopping block. He definitely had to know this was going on. They are dropping like flies at the good ole sheriff’s office. Can you say next?

  11. Flagler surfer says:

    All I can say their is always more to a story about people’s lives that may have led her to make bad decisions. I don’t know her personal struggles.. Everyone makes mistakes in life, certainly anyone reading this article isn’t perfect. Unfortunately in this situation it’s effecting a good officer and his family.
    We have to let the system judge her for those bad decisions and take responsibility for the consequences.
    My prayers go out to the family in this difficult time.

  12. Wolley Segap says:

    I would believe that officers of the law have the same family issues as most others Afterall, they are human. They deal with the public’s struggles on a daily basis and then maybe go gome to deal with their own struggles. If she’s the bill payer it’s possible he didnt’t know. This current sheriff has fired people for no reason so i’d be surprised if this deputy retains his employment.

  13. A.S.F. says:

    He’s a cop and she’s a cop’s wife( and they are White, I imagine) so they deserve sympathy and special treatment? If this did not involve a fine upstanding “cop” family and their skins were a different color, I’m willing to bet that a lot of these calls for our compassion and special consideration would magically evaporate. We should not accept this sort of inequality from ourselves or our justice system. By the same token, the facts should be allowed to unfold before we rush to judgment–I know that I am as guilty of that as anyone sometimes.

    • FlaglerSurfer says:

      We shouldn’t be sympathetic to just white people. I’m generally concerned for people and the community well being. He could be black or Hispanic with a last name Nunziato..(highly unlikely)
      To me, it doesn’t matter.. We can’t control the media always harping on black and hispanic crimes.
      I don’t think there is any special treatment here.. It’s not like this got brushed under the rug..

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