fficer Michael Szeliga of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department showed up to a Mothers Against Drunk Driving conference in Fort Lauderdale so drunk that he could not even walk straight.
Szeliga was scheduled to receive an award at the conference, for making over 100 DUI arrests, but he actually showed up drunk himself, and it is assumed that he drove himself to the conference in that state. However, the officer denies that he drove drunk and insists that he only had one or two drinks before the conference.
“It was wrong, and again, one of the most ridiculous things I’ve heard of. When I first heard about it, that was (what) my reaction was. ‘Come on, you’ve got to be kidding me. Really?’” Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said.
Once his supervisors encountered him, they described him as being “wasted” and sent him back to his hotel room to miss out on both the conference and his award.
After the incident, Szeliga was reprimanded and was given one day of paid suspension, and was forced to write an apology letter to the supervisors for being belligerent with them. Szeliga was scheduled to be promoted to detective and his promotion was not affected by the incident at the conference, he now works as a detective in the sheriff’s crimes against children unit, according to WFLA.
Oddly enough, this is actually not the first time that we reported on a story like this. Around this time last year, David Griffin, acting chapter president for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and a former deputy police chief was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Since the incident, Griffin has resigned from his position with MADD after 18 years of being a CEO and high-ranking member of the organization.
Back in 2011, Debra Oberlin, a former president of MADD was arrested for driving with an alcohol level that was three times the legal limit.