A Florida sheriff’s deputy has been placed on administrative leave following accusations that he stole money from DUI suspects.
John Braman was suspended from the Volusia County Sheriff’s Department on Wednesday after four people arrested for DUI complained that money was stolen from their wallets, according to the Dayton Beach News-Journal.
Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said the Florida Department of Law Enforcement has been investigating the allegations against Braman for the past two months, the paper wrote. Once they obtained a key piece of evidence from one complainant, authorities felt ready to suspend Braman without pay.
Chitwood released a video statement on Friday explaining the suspension.
“Over the past several months this organization has received several complaints that deputy John Braman, during car stops in which he arrested the operator of the vehicle for DUI charges, was stealing money from their wallets while processing those prisoners.”
Braman, 33, would allegedly turn off his body camera before taking money from the DUI suspects, according to WESH TV.
Chitwood said it was important to get the deputy off the streets while the matter was being investigated.
“Integrity is the cornerstone of any law enforcement officer’s career,” he said in the video. “Once you lose your integrity, you’ve lost your ability to be an effective law enforcement officer.”
Braman has been with the department since 2007. He was one of four individuals chosen as employee of the year in 2011 after he was shot in his left arm while following up on a domestic violence incident.