Cheating Scandal Leads to Termination Of 7 Deputy Recruits at Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office


pcsobadgeCheating Scandal Leads to Termination Of 7 Deputy Recruits at Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office

Posted: January 25, 2016

This afternoon, Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri announced the termination of 7 deputy recruits after they were caught cheating on agency exams.

All of the recruits were hired by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office on November 9, 2015.  The investigation began last Thursday according to a press release issued this morning by Sgt. Spencer Gross, Public Information Officer from the Agency.

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri announced the termination of 7 deputy recruits. The deputy recruits were terminated after it was discovered that they cheated on Field Training Program written and oral board exams and/or lied about their involvement in cheating. One patrol deputy has resigned as a result of the investigation.

Through the investigation, it was determined that 7 deputy recruits obtained copies of the Field Training Phase I and Phase II written exams, as well as Phase I and II oral board exams. These copies were the actual exams upon which they were tested. Several of the recruits scored 100% on their Phase I exams and planned to use the material to cheat on their Phase II exams. Some deputy recruits lied when initially questioned about the issue.

“7 deputy recruits obtained copies of actual FTO exams, used the exams to their benefit, cheated and lied,” said Sheriff Gualtieri. “We have nothing in the law enforcement profession without our integrity and there is no place for cheaters and liars in law enforcement and certainly not in the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.”

It was also determined that Field Training Deputy, Eric Biddle, improperly provided the exam material to the deputy recruits according to the press release. Deputy Biddle resigned today. Biddle was hired by the agency on February 10, 2012.

It is unknown if any previous recruiting classes were involved or how long Deputy Biddle has had access to exam materials.




  1. Far greater emphasis should be placed on the fact that these men were provided cheat materials by their trainer. They are being taught to cheat and lie. Sad.

    Have any of these “Deputy Recruits” been out patrolling the streets??? How many others have been “trained” by Biddle & what retraining/retesting will they face??

    • Unfortunately, there are so many questions that need to be addressed. This is where we at times have to depend on the mainstream media to ask these necessary questions. Many times they are not asked. Hopefully at least one of the entities will do their job. None of the recruits have been out alone as they were in a Field Training program assigned to a Field Training Officer.

  2. And they have lots of officers on our street that cheer and lie all the time but the sheriff needs to investigate the crew from the lealman Neibhorhood he has officers taking the drugs from people and keeping them for their own use and officers that beat the shit out of innocent people in our community who expose them when they are doing wrong I’m a victim of officers brutally and have thousands of dollars in Dr bills from one of the sheriffs deputy’s still no justice for me or my family!!!!! Pay attention to whom you allow to watch over us all sheriff BOB G….


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