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Current cop rode with Warlocks biker club, records show

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Hundreds of records outlining the growing case against former Windermere Police Chief Daniel Saylor were released this morning by the Orange-Osceola State Attorney's Office.

The records document that Saylor personally recommended hiring an officer who rode with the Warlocks motorcycle club, a group that that has been linked to criminal activity in the past.

Officer Gregory Beasley has a tattoo of the Warlocks crest on his left arm and acknowledged he had been an associate member of the "Warlocks motorcycle gang" when he applied to work as a drug informant for the Seminole County City-County Investigative Bureau in the mid-1990s, according to Florida Department of Law Enforcement records in the released documents.

Beasley remains a Windermere police officer.

A different officer – the town's former No. 2 cop, Lt. Paul Conway — said he would not have hired Beasley if he had known about his past.



Conway also said Saylor routinely voided traffic tickets for town residents and that Saylor viewed pornography on city computers.

Upon being told about some of the reports' accusations, Mayor Gary Bruhn declined to comment until he reviewed the 500-plus pages of records. "I need to look at those reports," he said.

The release of 802 pages of documents did not include audio files of secretly recorded conversations between Saylor and Irvin Murr, a Windermere police officer who accused his former boss of bribing him to mislead a state investigation of police corruption in Windermere. That evidence is expected to be released at a later date.

About 1,500 pages of documents are expected to be released by next week as part of the pretrial discovery period, when prosecutors and defense lawyers disclose all of the information they intend to use at trial.

Those records include interviews with current and former Windermere police officers questioned by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement about corruption within the 24-member force, including allegations of theft, favoritism and shutting down two child-rape investigations.

Investigators and prosecutors say almost every interview prompted spinoff inquiries into misconduct after Saylor took command in 2002 of the once-respected, small-town police department.

Those accusations included ticket fixing, stealing evidence and filing false crime statistics. The outcome of those inquiries remains unknown.

Saylor's career ended with his highly publicized Jan. 12 arrest on charges related to shutting down a child-rape investigation of Windermere resident Scott Bush, 50. Saylor's friend was arrested the same day on charges of sexual battery on a child younger than 12 years old.

Court records state Saylor twice shut down rape investigations against Bush in 2003 and 2009. Bush is charged in the 2009 case and it is unknown if other charges are pending over the 2003 case.

The interviews released today do not provide any insight into Saylor's friendship with Bush.

That remains a mystery, according to Orange-Osceola State Attorney Lawson Lamar, who said after Saylor's arrest that investigators could not understand why the police chief betrayed his oath and risked prison to help Bush.

One of Bush's neighbors, Edward Williams, told FDLE that off-duty Windermere cops regularly hung out at Bush's lakefront home using boats and jet skis. Williams also said Bush hired routinely hired Mexican and South America craftsmen to work on his home, then refused to pay them and called Windermere police to run off the angry craftsmen, records state.

"The WPD would show up and inform the workers to either leave the residence or they would arrest the contractors or have them deported," records state. "At least a dozen times that Mr. Williams personally observed Bush would call the WPD to have them leave when the work was nearly completed."

A former friend of Saylor, Jon Hodgskin, gave FDLE a similar account about Bush hiring, then refusing to pay contractors and calling Windermere police for help. Hodgskin ended his friendship after deciding the chief was "dirty," the report stated.

Hodgskin told FDLE that he had bought a Glock pistol for $400 from Saylor about two years ago when Saylor called saying he needed cash. Saylor apparently obtained the gun through a law enforcement discount program, Hodgskin said. He also believed that Saylor sold a similar weapon to Bush and advised FDLE that an audit might show ammunition missing from the police department.

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A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty

A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty

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