Mark A. Moy, the long-time veteran of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office arrested in mid-February on a domestic battery charge, was suspended without pay for two months, demoted to civilian status without any law enforcement authority, placed on disciplinary probation for a year, and will be required to re-apply for a sworn deputy’s position as if he were starting over, his corporal rank now lost, according to the Disciplinary Probation Agreement he signed last week with the Sheriff’s Office. His annual pay was cut by $8,000.
The agreement’s terms are more severe than those of prosecutors or circuit court: the State Attorney’s Office dropped the misdemeanor charge on March 22, the same day Moy, 39, signed a deferred prosecution agreement that required him to complete a substance abuse evaluation and any recommended treatment, and an eight-hour anger-management course, which he completed on march 11. He was also required to pay $20 to Crime Stoppers and $100 to the State Attorney’s Office for the costs of prosecution.
Still, under normal circumstances, Moy would have been fired. Moy was found in violation of two policies, one of them a “Category 10 violation,” which entails breaking the law. The other violation was conduct unbecoming, penalized by a range of sanctions up to and including termination. A Category 10 violation, by policy, results in termination. Moy was spared “in light of [his] exemplary employment history with [the Sheriff’s Office], as well as his candor and acceptance of responsibility for this incident,” and in light of the probationary terms.
The incident struck several discordant notes: One of Sheriff Rick Staly’s highest-profile initiative since his election has been a campaign against domestic violence. Moy for his part has had a spotless career with the Sheriff’s Office since 2007 and had been promoted to corporal in 2017, he was engaging and respected, and normally found himself writing reports or testifying about individuals hurting others.
“I don’t think words can express how sorry I am that I have brought disgrace to this agency,” Moy said, according to an internal investigation. “I’ve been employed here for fourteen years and I have never had any form of discipline. I come to work every day and work for the citizens of this county, I love my job. I believe that I have excelled and continue to do great things for this agency and I am really sorry that I have disgraced this agency.”
Moy was arrested on Feb. 12 on accusations that, after he’d been drinking with friends at home in Palm Coast between the night before and early that morning, he’d struck his 19-year-old daughter hard enough that she complained of trouble hearing out of her left ear. Father and daughter had initially argued in front of the woman’s stepmother and Jack Castanheira, a Moy colleague in the detective bureau, who was also off duty that night. Moy attributed the confrontation to his daughter’s increasing disrespect over time.
Separately from the court proceedings, the Sheriff’s Office conducted an internal investigation, resulting in an eight-page report sustaining certain policy violations by Moy and summing up his penalties. The report is unusually limited in scope, relying only on the original arrest report and a sworn statement by Moy, along with a brief paraphrase of a statement by Moy’s union attorney, who said his client was “specifically waiving all rights noted under the officer’s bill of rights that would require a full investigation to be conducted by the agency.”
Moy then explained how the incident occurred–how increasingly disrespectful his daughter had become over the past year or so, according to what he told the investigator, how she disrespected him in front of company, how he grabbed her by her shirt twice and the second time slapped her in the face. “Moy advised that this is not in his character but added that he had been drinking but was not saying that this alleviated the responsibility,” the investigative report states. “Moy again expressed his distaste for this form of disrespect but was quick to state that his actions and response is unacceptable. M. Moy again stated that this behavior is not who he is and would honestly do anything for his children and always will.”
Moy told the investigator he didn’t know if he’d become intoxicated that night, saying he’d started drinking at 7 p.m. and had three or four drinks. Moy also acknowledged lying to Sgt. Frank Gamarra, who was the investigative deputy on the case in February. Moy had told him that night that the incident had not become violent. “Moy became emotional while stating again that this is not in his character and he will never do anything of this nature again,” the internal investigative report states. “It was clear that the emotions were overwhelming and some time was permitted for him to gather his thoughts.”
He said he’d never laid a hand on his children before, and his daughter had not done anything that justified his striking her.
“There are no words and I am so embarrassed,” Moy said during the interview. “I plan on doing whatever it takes, anger management counseling, AA meetings or whatever it takes. I don’t believe I have a problem but I am willing to seek out and see if there are any issues that I may have, I think I owe that to everybody at least. I need to make sure that it is something I can check off the list.”
No one else was interviewed for the internal investigation, which was conducted by detective Randall Doyle and supervised by Chief Mark Strobridge. On April 8, Moy requested expedited disciplinary action, and last Tuesday signed the probation agreement with the agency, which also includes mandatory participation in the agency’s Employee Assistance Program.
Moy remains employed in the agency’s detective division, but as a civilian digital forensics analyst. His pay was cut from $62,112 to $54,251 a year.
Huge Penalty but from what I remember He screwed up hard in a number of ways and as LEO you just cant do that. Wish you luck and Hope it all works out for you.
Percy's mother says
What about the kid and her (most likely) in-your-face disrespect sending this guy over the edge.
A lot of young kids these days have learned how to get up in people’s faces and bully nonstop as well as to be verbally and emotionally abusive. They’ve also learned how to push buttons. None of this behavior would have been tolerated when I was growing up.
Maybe the kid also needs to go through some sort of anger management education, and as well, some education on how to behave as a respectful adult, otherwise, she won’t do well in society.
Also, just don’t drink and then you retain all faculties. It’s a very easy thing to do . . . eat healthy, don’t drink or smoke or use any form of drugs, work out in a gym or other gymnastic program, have a spiritual practice, keep a gratitude journal, don’t fill your mind with garbage or any other form of negativity. Problems solved.
Seriously. Any other criminal would have gotten some crazy charges and fines. (100.00 wtf) Never mined, probably fired. He keeps job even as Staley has vowed not to let other people get away with this kind of violence.
He has been one of the best detectives this county has seen. Don’t judge a person by one mistake.
Concerned Citizen says
What a joke.
This county takes a light look at domestic violence and continues to give free passes. I wonder who leaned on the victim this time.
First we had Eric Cooley (no we haven’t forgotten) smacking his girl friend around. And some of it even got caught on camera. Get arrested. His dirt bag lawyer leaned on the victim and got her to drop charges. Then they ran her out of town. Next comes Moy who in front others knocks a 19 year old around gets arrested then gets off with a laughable deffered sentence.
See the pattern here?
Grown ass men who pick on and abuse women smaller than themselves because if they did it to men they would get their asses beat. Care to try it one of us tough guys?
I’m very dissapointed in our judicial system as well as our Sheriff who continues to condone this behavior. And by condoning it he enables it.
Guys it’s never ever acceptable to lay your hands on a woman. Go to the gym and take your frustrations out.
As someone who has spent their entire life in military and public safety I hold my brothers and sisters to muvh higher standards because we took an oath. Same goes for our elected politicians. Once you violate it you loose my respect.
Concerned Citizen: WOW, I went back and read that article on Cooley and the comments. So how does one get reelected! What says you Flagler? Beware of the wolf in sheep’s clothing! I personally don’t go into his 7 eleven because it does give off a strange kind of vibe.
If it were anyone else , their lives would’ve been over ! Instead he remains employed and will more than likely be rehired with a gun and badge . Total double standard if you ask me .
Wow – what a joke!!!!! To be continued -guaranteed !!!!
Jason Smith says
About time law enforcement had the same punishment as everyone else. This guy was a hot head, power freak anyways.
So help me understand this one? Why was he not fired, why can anyone with a domestic abuse charge be allowed to carry a weapon. Could not have been much of an investigation if it only cost $100. Bottom line whare we getting for his total cost to the taxpayers? Salary, benefits, free automobile, etc. He should have been fired.
The commenter is incorrect in several regards. The charge was dropped. Even had he been adjudicated guilty of what was a misdemeanor charge, he would not have barred him from carrying a weapon. The prohibition applies to felons. As it is, he is not carrying a weapon in his newly designated job and does not have access to a sheriff’s vehicle. The $100 fee is the standard investigation fee assessed by the court in all such cases. It is not a reflection of the actual costs.
Big Wig says
Thank you FCSO for recognizing the value in Mark Moy for Law Enforcement as well as the citizens of this community.
May his journey back reflect the professional discipline he’s shown from the beginning of his career, to again attaining and succeeding in the rank and position he once held.
Agreed, all these people condemning him obviously do not know what a great person and detective he is. They are judging him by one mistake.
Concerned Citizen says
It’s Never OK for a man to lay his hands on a woman.
And it was a poor choice not a mistake. So tired of hearing that when intentional acts are committed. Sounds like it wasn’t one time either. We trust this man to carry a weapon and uphold the law. He has the authority to arrest people. He also took an oath to do a job that holds him to higher standards.
If you don’t want to be judged or condemend then don’t go smacking women around.
Trailer Bob says
Not easy being in the public light nowadays.
When I grew up this story would be comical. We got smacked all the time when we did something disrespectful or “bad”.
We got whipped with a belt when REALLY bad. But you you know what? most of us grew up respectful and had decent lives and families.
Now everyone gets a star for doing what should be expected of them.
James Manfre says
It should come as no surprise that I am not a fan of Staly. His constant backstabbing as my undersheriff after I rescued his career from the scrapheap has left a bad taste. In addition, I disagree with his massive increase in the sheriff”s budget, his decision not to reoccupy the former sheriff’s operation center which will cost the residents of the county close to 40 million dollars, his refusal to investigate claims of sexual harassment and racist remarks in the courthouse security unit that led to an Administrative Judge being forced to conduct his own inquiry and the his handling of discipline generally. Also over a half a dozen employees have been arrested for some type of crime during his tenure. I understand that Staly will continue to be elected by a predominantly Republican electorate that believes Republicans can do no wrong and Democrats can do no right.
But this time Staly’s decision on Mark Moy is the right one. Mark is a good, hardworking detective who deserves a second chance to absolve himself of a very poor choice. His action towards his daughter cannot be condoned, but discipline should look back at the person’s prior behavior and Mark has been up to this point a credit to the sheriff’s office. I hope he has learned his lesson and returns to being a productive member of the FCSO as a law enforcement officer.
Former/Current Employee says
This whole situation just rings the hypocrisy bell over and over and over again. I have seen in my time as a Sheriff/County employee these agency get rid of people for less. Make one mistake and you’re not on their good side, goodbye! I’m not talking people under probation, I’m talking a decade or more employees.
I’m sure Mark Moy is a good guy and I agree with the former Sheriff he deserves a second chance after ONE mistake. However be uniform across the board. You leave yourself no room for credibility by picking and choosing ‘winners’.
Concerned Citizen says
Please stop calling it a mistake.
A mistake is turning right when you should have turned left. Or missing your exit on the Interstate. He made a poor choice. He chose to get physically violent with a woman when there was no need for it. And he works in a profession that holds him to higher standards.
Everyone is trying to give this guy a free pass and blame the victim. What happened to victims rights? I guarentee you this wasn’t a first time. He just got caught this time.
Guys if you are frustrated and need to take it out on something go to the gym. Stop smacking women around. it’s never Ok and it makes you a douchebag for doing it.
This is a double standard if I ever saw. Especially from an agency that just got national recognition for supporting victims rights and touts zero tolerance for Domestic violence. Discipline needs to be across the bard. Not picking and choosing favorites.