MAJ John Schmidt, who has been with LCSO for 28 years, resigned Friday in the wake of an internal affairs investigation, saying he was thinking with the heart of a friend, not the mind of a law enforcement officer.
The investigation centered on his longtime friendship with Tallahassee restaurant owner Adam Bardi, who was until recently an illegal alien.
LCSO's internal investigation found even though Bardi had been arrested six times on seven different felonies, Schmidt continued his friendship with Bardi and repeatedly intervened on his behalf.
The internal affairs report says Schmidt contacted the state attorney's office twice to have felony charges against Bardi reduced or dismissed so he would not be deported, and spoke as a character reference on his behalf during two immigration hearings.
The sheriff calls that association with a known criminal unacceptable. Schmidt says he respects the sheriff's decision and is proud of his 28 years of service to Leon County, and will now try to move on.