Deputy Leaves LCSO 'Not in Good Standing'

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Article Text: By: Andy Alcock

Gross insubordination - that finding against a Leon County Sheriff's Detective led to his leaving the department "not in good standing".

Records obtained exclusively by Eyewitness News show it wasn't Derek Terry's first issue with the sheriff's department.

The most recent report shows pictures of the wall investigators with the Leon County Sheriff's Office say Derek Terry punched in October, leaving a hole.

According to the report obtained exclusively by Eyewitness News, Terry punched the wall out of anger at being the focus of back and forth joking with his fellow vice squad members.

The report goes on to say, Terry refused a direct order.

After hearing a second order, the report says Terry cursed and then started walking towards his sergeant with clenched fists stating he would have to be put in handcuffs to stop him from leaving.

The report says a lieutenant had to intervene to stop Terry from advancing.

LCSO legal counsel Major Alan Griner says the investigation is now complete.

"With all the facts, it rose to the level of gross insubinordination," said Griner.

An LCSO panel recommended Terry's dismissal from the department.

However, he ultimately accepted a separation agreement.

As part of the agreement, he left LCSO "not in good standing".

"The separation agreement basically says that the employee agrees to resign in lieu of termination," said Major Griner.

Terry's separation from LCSO was not the first internal investigation resulting in a finding against him.

Ten years ago, Terry was the subject of a criminal sexual battery complaint.

He was never arrested or charged with a crime.

However, according to a 2003 Tallahassee Police Department investigation, by his own admission, he had sex three different times with a woman who called LCSO for help.

Terry told investigators the first sexual encounter took place in her bedroom after she agreed to let him set up a surveillance camera there.

The woman told Terry she thought an intruder had been in her bedroom and was also making harassing phone calls.

TPD records show after Terry had sex with the woman in his bedroom, he destroyed the tape.

Terry told TPD investigators he had sex two other times with the woman in his taxpayer funded sheriff's vehicle.

Following the 2003 TPD investigation, Terry was suspended from the sheriff's office for twenty days, given six months probation and was reassigned to work at the jail.

Major Griner says Terry kept his job in part because it was his first LCSO misconduct.

"Was his behavior acceptable to the sheriff's office? No it wasn't. But was it investigated pursuant to our policies? Yes it was. Was he disciplined? Yes he was," said Griner.

LCSO records show Terry has been reprimanded two other times.

Once in 2007 for shooting a deer in Kansas without a license...and most recently in 2012 for using a piece of sheriff's department equipment to look for deleted text messages from his wife's phone.

Major Griner describes that misconduct as relatively minor.

But he says the gross insubordination on top of the other incidents is not.

"It was kind of a last straw if you will," said Griner. "He had been given chances," he said.

We spoke to Terry at his home.

He declined our request for an interview.

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