Pinellas Deputy Michael Szeliga was supposed to get an award at a Mothers Against Drunk Driving conference, followed by two days of DUI law enforcement training. He didn’t make it to the stage to receive the award, because he showed up “wasted”
According to a 274-page Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office internal affairs investigation, Szeliga ran into trouble when one witness said he arrived staggeringly drunk at the Friday night banquet. That’s where Szeliga was supposed to receive his MADD award in front of about 200 other invited guests.
Gulfport Police Chief Robert Vincent encountered Szeliga outside of the banquet and suggested it wasn’t appropriate for Szeliga to attend the affair due to his intoxication. That lead to “disrespectful” comments Szeliga directed toward Vincent, which prompted Vincent to seek out one of Szeliga’s supervisors and tell him Szeliga was “wasted.”
Deputy Szeliga was reportedly drinking all day at the hotel pool with two other deputies. And what was the punishment for disrespecting the MADD conference attendees and embarrassing his department to the max? A one day suspension. Oh, the Pinellas Sheriffs Department also moved forward with a planned promotion for Szeliga—he’s now a detective:
Szeliga now works as a detective in the sheriff’s crimes against children unit. He declined to comment when news of his MADD escapade first broke last month and couldn’t be reached Wednesday regarding the new details.