ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. -- It's another black eye for the Altamonte Springs Police Department. WFTV learned a secret list of the police agency's confidential informants has been lost by a police officer who didn't take it off the roof of a patrol car before driving off.
This incident comes just one day after WFTV broke another story about the city's Deputy Police Chief, George Small, being under investigation for fixing tickets. They're the latest problems for an already troubled police agency, with officers accused of drunk driving and even drug dealing.
Apparently, an Altamonte Springs police lieutenant had files of highly-sensitive information on confidential informants on a small thumb drive. The small drive got left on the roof of a car and was lost when he drove away.
Meanwhile, in an internal memo issued Friday, the police chief said Deputy Police Chief George Small allegedly "used his position of authority to order officers to fix traffic citations on at least five occasions within the past twelve months."
“Kinda makes me angry,” resident Zelm Cohen said.
Zelma Cohen recently got her first traffic ticket in three decades.
“It makes you have a sour taste about, you know, trusting them,” Cohen said.
Small is at least the fourth Altamonte Springs officer involved in a high-profile investigation over the past two years.
In July of 2008, FDLE arrested Officer Clay Adams on drug charges. Five months later, Officer Mark Maupin crashed his cruiser going more than a hundred miles an hour, severely injuring two teens, even though he wasn't on a call. Then, in December, Officer Ashley Rowe nearly killed her passenger when she crashed into a tree while drunk.
WFTV called every Altamonte Springs city commissioner Monday, but not one agreed to speak to about the department.
For now, Small, who makes more than $88,000 per year, is on paid suspension.
WFTV checked and this isn't the first time the actions of Deputy Chief George Small have been called into question.
According to his internal affairs report, he's been reprimanded six times since he was hired more than 21 years ago. He received letters in his file for cursing at a citizen, rude behavior, losing city equipment, a police pursuit, and failing to listen orders from his chief. He was also suspended for 40 hours in 1998 for calling a co-worker Mother Goose.