The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday fired seven-year veteran Alfonzo Dillard, a former narcotics detective, after Dillard did not report to work and did not provide a documented excuse for his absence after numerous requests. Two weeks earlier, an internal affairs investigation concluded that Dillard had misplaced one of his guns, traveled out of county with a department-issued vehicle, lied about the trip and possibly about whether the gun was a personal firearm or a department-issued Glock–all violations of Sheriff’s Office policy.
Dillard had been demoted from the Tri-County Task Force and the sheriff’s Special Investigations Unit last October, when the investigation was launched and he was earning $38,000 a year. He was reassigned to road patrol pending the outcome of the internal investigation.
The reason for Dillard’s firing was job abandonment. But his troubles began last September when he attended a two-week training session under the federal High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program, better known as HIDTA. Dillard stayed at the Staybridge Suites. As he was almost back in Flagler County, he got a call from a hotel clerk informing him that he’d left a bag at the hotel. Unbeknownst to the clerk, the bag contained one Dillard’s guns.
While in training in Tallahassee Dillard had met Amanda Dobson, a civilian agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. He asked her by phone to go to the hotel to retrieve the bag. It’s not clear from the internal investigation if at that point Dillard knew he’d left the gun behind. According to his statement to the internal investigator, Dillard asked Dobson to look in the bag for his Jordan sneakers, which were not there–but a gun was. According to the internal investigation, “Deputy Dillard said the gun in the bag was his personal weapon and not one of the two Glocks that were issued to him by the agency.”
Deputies with off-duty weapons are required by policy to qualify through training for possessing such a gun. Dillard had not qualified for any off-duty weapon in his last training on Sept. 8. “He said he didn’t qualify with the off-duty gun because it was never meant to leave his house,” the investigative report continues. “He denied having knowledge that the gun was in the bag, and denies carrying the gun off duty.” But in a conversation with a sheriff’s Cpl. Jason Neat, the first superior Dillard spoke to regarding the misplaced gun, Dillard said the gun was his back-up, department-issued Glock.
Some three weeks had elapsed between the time Dillard had left the bag and the gun in Tallahassee, and the day he left work early, without permission, to drive to Tallahassee with a sheriff’s car–without permission– and fueled up with sheriff’s gas to retrieve the gun. That day, according to the investigation, he was working in a St. Augustine office of the narcotics task force. He told a colleague there that he would be working through lunch and leaving early. Again, there are conflicting stories about what he’d told whom: in one case he said he left early to take care of his daughter, who he said had been locked out of the house. In another case he said he was heading to Tallahassee to see the Florida State-Notre Dame football game the next day. Either way, he had not directly informed Cpl. Neat that he was leaving early.
In fact, Dillard was heading to Tallahassee to retrieve his gun. He would finally tell Neat as much the following Monday, when he asked to speak with him in a parking lot, but only because as he drove to Tallahassee, Dillard was pulled over outside of Tallahassee and issued a warning by a Florida Highway Patrol trooper. That took place just after 5 p.m. that Friday. The time stamp ion the documented encounter led investigators to believe that Dillard had lied about when he’d left his post. It’s not clear whether Dillard would have revealed the nature of his trip to his superior had he not been stopped by a trooper. But during that conversation with Neat, he said it was his department-issued Glock that had gone missing–the Glock he was supposed to use when working under cover with the task force. Dillard told Neat that he had instead been using his larger Glock instead. (Dillard would also claim that he’d asked Neat for three hours’ comp time the Friday he drove to Tallahassee.)
The investigator asked Dillard why he didn;t use his own vehicle to drive to Tallahassee. “Again,” he told the investigator, “at the time I was just notified that my own personal weapon, which may I add had been missing at this time for a while, was no longer in my possession.” He said retrieving the weapon became his main priority, even more so than going back to Palm Coast that Friday to let his daughter in the house. (In a different version of the story, his daughter had simply not gone to school and not been locked out.) In Tallahassee, Dillard stayed at Dobson’s for the weekend, fueling up on his dime, he said, for the return trip to Palm Coast.
By the time the investigation was completed on April 24, the sheriff’s office concluded that he’d violated five policies: truthfulness, conformance to state and federal laws, conduct unbecoming, use of department vehicles, and the department’s personal firearm policy.
Counseled twice since the October matter and the start of the investigation, Dillard on May 3 left a voice mail for Ken McClinton, the human resources director, informing him that he would not be coming to work on Monday because of shoulder pain, and that he’d be going to the hospital for treatment. On May 5, Dillard claimed in another voice mail to McClinton that a doctor had placed him off work until Friday. But when a deputy was sent to his home, Dillard was not there, or did not answer the door. Several attempts by the office to communicate with Dillard failed. On May 7, he was mailed a letter informing him that he was considered to have abandoned his job, and was fired.
“While the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office has a great degree of concern for your current health condition,” the letter signed by McClinton and bearing Sheriff Jim Manfre’s name, stated, “I feel we have provided every reasonable accommodation available to you and beyond what is deemed necessary.”
Abandon ship says
The same reason they gave when they finally got Roster. https://flaglerlive.com/59638/jamie-roster-firing/
Manfre learned…want someone out of the way simply.. investigate investigate investigate and make their job a living nightmare. then when opportunity strikes. BAM..By the way Sgt. Neat was promoted after giving up a private conversation with Dillard….way to lead your men Jason! Maybe you should have been given an internal affairs position..your good at this.
a tiny manatee says
Quoting the article:
“Two weeks earlier, an internal affairs investigation concluded that Dillard had misplaced one of his guns, traveled out of county with a department-issued vehicle, lied about the trip and possibly about whether the gun was a personal firearm or a department-issued Glock–all violations of Sheriff’s Office policy.”
He wasn’t fired for that. He was fired for job abandonment., because for two days after a doctor allegedly placed him off work the department couldn’t contact him.
Let that sink in. He wasn’t fired for conduct unbecoming an officer. He wasn’t fired because he lied about traveling out of the county using a work vehicle (hey Manfre, didn’t you do that?). He wasn’t fired because he may or may not have lost his service weapon.
So, Manfre. What are you going to do if he’s able to substantiate his absence? What if he has valid reasons for being out of contact? Is he still fired?
And the hilarious thing is that there are people reading this article thinking “wow, I can’t believe he was fired. That job is just soooo stressful I mean police need all of the breaks they can get.” Well, newsflash. If it’s possible for a beachside police officer to maybe or maybe not (who knows, right?) shoot his wife in the head, skip on his rent, and leave town will full benefits then perhaps more strict adherence to the law in their own ranks is what’s needed.
Seriously. Fired for job abandonment. What a bunch of assclowns.
” Two weeks earlier, an internal affairs investigation concluded that Dillard had misplaced one of his guns, traveled out of county with a department-issued vehicle, lied about the trip “……….
wait a minute didn’t the sheriff take multiple trips out of the STATE with a Sheriff’s Office vehicle and get into a crash which he FAILED to report?? sounds like Deputy Dillard was following the example of his boss….
Gee, I never realized taking a department vehicle out of county was grounds for termination. I wonder what would have happened if he had an accident with the car and didn’t report it properly, or, in other words, was not “truthful” about it.
FPD does not need that kind of yoyo including his boss. Pretty well paid with expenses & fringe benefits for what the’re doing.
I am pretty sure sgt neat was first on the promotional exam that’s why he was promoted. Regardless why are you abandon ship pointing the finger at the sgt for reporting people that have no ethics and steal from tax payers. Might want to do some soul searching and take a look at your own morals if you think this should have been kept quiet.
Just the facts says
Sounds like the Manfre haters should learn to pick their battles a little better. According to the article this Deputy violated some serious policies and was dealt with accordingly. Sgt Neat is probably the best first line supervisor at the Sheriffs Office. Was Sgt Neat supposed to lie about his conversation with the Deputy? I’m not saying I’m a fan of Sheriff Manfre, but it’s sad to see previous employees talking ignorantly about their peers.
This agency is so jacked up… They never wanted him in narcotics to begin with and when you don’t want someone you break out the knives.. Look at all the people who have been fired or recently quit or retired.. They talk about being community oriented and diverse this guy was one of the less than 5 minorities they have on the road.. If he was wrong he was wrong but this place can’t move forward for always falling or stumbling on its own self.. The people in charge have been around forever and it’s almost just time for new faces To run the show its a joke.. Worst agency in this area morale wise… The deputies work hard and what do the chain of command do? Promise them new cars but buy a handful and give them to guess who ??? The supervisors .. The morale there sucks for the last several years has not got any better.. From ethics violations to just pissy work environment and low morale .. Everyone is stressed out .. This without a doubt is the most unbalanced and undiverse sheriffs office in this area… They only react to things they are never proactive in anything .. They don’t hire women often and when they do they are white there isn’t one Hispanic or black female deputy that works the road .. And they have less than 5 monitory males .. They have one black supervisor but he was a product of a vacuum caused by the longest serving black sgt retiring … Doubt he would have been promoted over others if not for that… I worked here for several years and yes I’m white but I can tell you this place is a time bomb … One major incident away from major news that involves race issues and equality issues for women… It’s sad when they keep all the minorities and women in the jail hidden from the public to appreciate diversity and equality across the board .. To those who were fired or removed or demoted … Karma is what it is just grab the popcorn ..
You know with all the retired out of state police officers living Flagler County it would be no problem for us to come out and rally for this office however since the Flagler County sheriffs office does not in any way shape or form convey any personal or professional courtesy to retired police officers living here’s I guess We wouldn’t be doing that anytime soon, sorry.
That place just wreaks of low morale back stabbing supervisors and corrupt practices ….. tells me they never wanted him working suck a prestige assignment anyways no minorities work good gigs like those in this agency ..
Ray Thorne says
why the big story between this site and news 13? This isn’t the typical cop news story. In fact it isn’t a cop news story at all. No “crime” has taken place just policy violations and this is big news? Something tells me that this story has been thrown to the media for a reason.
Ray, stories get “thrown” to the media all the time. We consider some and report them, and dismiss others. If you think this was not newsworthy, we strongly disagree. We should have been more on top of such stories than we are. As it is, we’re grateful for the tip, though considering the number of fluffy PR pieces the sheriff’s office puts out, and that we do run on occasion, this one–and more specifically the matter of the internal investigation’s outcome– should have been put out by the sheriff’s office first. Too bad it wasn’t.
Jennifer Trellford says
Sgt. Neat was promoted after scoring first on the Sergeants exam, while the deputy your defending was wasting tax dollars and coming up with lie after lie after lie. Get the facts straight before you go manfre bashing.
First off if he is wrong he is wrong just seems to me like this was spun out of control … Maybe they didn’t want him in the narcotics unit anyways … This agency lacks so much for a small operation the morale sucks and is so low it’s a shame .. Deputies work hard and get promised things and stuff to no avail.. They were promised new cars and guess who got them all the supervisors!!! The morale is horrible and the trust and leadership is waned .. This guy did what he did however there has been worse .. I worked here for years and this is not a place for minorities or women… And I’m white !!! He was one of less than 5 minority deputies on the road .. There are no Hispanic females or black females there and it’s tailored around a white male age 24-35… They have done nothing to progress diversity as well as positive work environment … If you were not fired ..you quit just because you can’t take it … All of the current supervisors show favoritism to certain people and everybody else gets washed aside and trust there is no saving you… It’s one huge click about who you know and who likes you!!! I can tell you that if this had been anyone other than this guy it would not be in this paper as top story… Like the previous poster said like they did roster. Yes he was white but when you get labeled you are done !!! This is the most. Unethical undiverse agency in this area… They get by under the radar… They are not woman friendly not minority friendly unless you are willing to work in the jail… Look at the chain of command and staff they have one black supervisor who was promoted by vacuum because the previous longest serving black deputy retired if had not been for that he would never be promoted over there .. It’s one huge family if you are in the outside then you are s.o.l…..this place needs to be brought to the attention of those who can’t speak for themselves and stand up to corruption…
Truth Be Told says
This article is a joke and so is the smoke cloud by the Flagler Sheriff Dept. to try and paint a false picture of Officer Dillard! Let the truth be told, Officer Dillard is a Veteran of the U.S. Army and was one of the more trustworthy and respectable officers employed by the Sheriff’s Dept. It’s very suspicious how the only African-American member of the Narcotics Task Force could be reprimanded for doing the exact same thing that the Sheriff did, but the Sheriff did it on “multiple” occasions and even wrecked a Department vehicle. But the Sheriff wasn’t removed from office? Only in Flagler County! The fact is that Officer Dillard did in 6 months on the Narcotics Task Force, what his counterparts could not do their entire time on the Narcotics Task Force. Bust drug dealers! This article would be more accurate if the author reported that Officer Dillard’s issues with the Flagler County Sheriff’s Dept. began when an African-American Officer’s assignment to an all white Narcotics Task Force caused him to perform at a higher level than those white officers! But that would never get reported in Flagler County! Those of us who know the truth salute Officer Dillard for not letting the Sheriff Department walk all over him!
Wow, seven years on the job and only making $38,000 per year. There’s a job posting right now on the Flagler County Sheriff’s website for a Detention Deputy brand spanking new starting out making $38,344. So Manfre doesn’t value experience? I honestly don’t see, based on the information in the article, why he was demoted when he didn’t do anything his boss hasn’t already done and he got re-elected!
Lena Marshall says
Be ready sheriff this will be a law suit for sure.
karma is a B says
I hv to exercise my right to “freedom of speach and give my opinion on this matter as humble as I can.
God definitely don’t like ugly and this man has done some very horrible things that has impacted the lives of many. You guys can say as you wish but you know the sins and cover ups that this “Good old Boy” network has done. Call all the names you wish but Dillard has been protected so long and has obviously gotten in his thick head that he is one of the “untouchables”
You cannot continue your horrible act and think that God will continue to bless your ways. Now the same pack of wolves hv turned their backs on him and he is on the outside looking in. He cannot file unemployment either but ask yourself this…. when Celico was alive was it any better??
Can you truly say that there is no sin or unjust.
Can you say that these Flagler County Sheriff’s act accordingly and up hold the law?
Can you say that these Sheriff’s are respectively protecting the community and not using the badge for personal gain?
That they are not acting like little horny boys and seeking out other men’s spouses?
Not beating down criminals and using excessive force?
Not covering up insubordination or unbecoming conduct?
For years I asked the lord, how is it that this man is doing so much evil and has not been chastised? I would ask others, what does Dillard hv on his bosses that he is this unruly Flagler Dog, running around just doing as he wishes and no one does NOTHING!!
say as you want but this man is actually paying the piper for sins committed and some know what I am talking about…
SHAMED AND A LIAR….. $38,000.00 a year to ruin and destroy families
Ray Thorne says
For years you asked and God did not answer. He had more important things to do.
Just the facts says
I’m so tired of everyone using race as an excuse- according to the article Deputy Dillard lied to his supervisors. I don’t care how many drug dealers you may think he arrested, lying to a supervisor will get you fired in just about any profession. It’s pretty obvious that some of these comments come from current or previous law enforcement officers, making their level of ignorance simply appalling.
a tiny manatee says
He wasn’t fired for lying.
Ray Thorne says
I agree about the race card, and I agree about lying, and maybe even the ignorance but I’m sure there’s some truth to the comments as who would know better than those who work or who’ve worked there?
Justice has finally been served.
Karma is a B says
He will pay. Don’t you worry.