BELLEAIR BEACH - Two Belleair Beach police officers have been fired as the city searches for a new police agency to take over in the aftermath of voters authorizing to abolish the city department.
While residents wait for some fresh law enforcement with bated breaths, in recent days scandal has rocked the Belleair Beach department which is now down to three full time officers and three part time officers.
One officer was allowed to "retire" and another was fired, effective April 16 for his behavior.
Officer Ron Bouvrette left last month instead of suffering the final bottom line results of a Sheriff's Office investigation for drug trafficking.
The explanation given was so that a further lengthy probe that involved an informant who was wearing a wire could be avoided, Bouvrette was allowed to "retire."
The other case involves Officer Kevin Mowrer who was fired by City Manager Reid Silverboard as of Monday for "several incidents over the past month, that when taken together, have led me to conclude that the continued employment of Officer Mowrer is not in the best interests of the City of Belleair Beach," Silverboard said.
As to the Bouvrette case, one resident who asked not to be identified but who has knowledge of the situation and a report compiled on Bouvrette said, "If the residents (of Belleair Beach) know the circumstances around this 'retirement' they would be furious!"
Silverboard's report on Mowrer described the incidents that led to the officer's firing. He said the first incident occurred the day immediately following the election, March 13.
"Mowrer failed to report for work and did not call in," Silverboard said and then went on to describe how after locating Mowrer, the officer indicated his disappointment in the results of the election and stated that he quit.
Silverboard said that Mowrer did report for work later, but his supervisor "believed that he could smell alcohol on Officer Mowrer's breath" and he told him to go home.
At that point, Mowrer is said to have again indicated his desire to quit and left some of his equipment at the police department. Nevertheless, Silverboard said, he allowed Mowrer to return to work the next day.
Another incident occurred April 6, according to Silverboard, when Mowrer was late for work but did call and said he had overslept.
The latest occurrence last Thursday, Silverboard said, when Mowrer had a date with a live-in health care provider working in Belleair Beach. "He and the individual apparently became intoxicated at a bar in Clearwater Beach and became separated," Silverboard said.
Then, the report says, the woman, who is not identified, was "found passed out at the Clearwater Police substation in Clearwater Beach by a Sheriff's marine patrol deputy. Because of the condition of the individual, it was at first suspected that she had been drugged by something placed in her drinks, and Clearwater Police took statements."
Then followed all kinds of adventures that are not uncommon when dealing when alcohol is in the picture with encounters with the woman's employer, Mowrer being advised by her, according to the Silverboard report, that he was too drunk to drive, and winding up with the woman telling a Clearwater police sergeant that Mowrer was asleep at her house intoxicated.
The Clearwater officer went to the residence in Belleair Beach and asked Sgt. Mike Coleman, who is the acting Belleair
Beach chief, to respond to the location and when Coleman arrived briefed him on events to that point.
Silverboard's report describes more details of how the Clearwater sergeant suspected criminal activity, Mowrer's comments as Coleman transported him home and how on the following day, last Friday, the Mowrer's woman companion downplayed all the alcoholic adventures.
Silverboard's final conclusion was that, "Although this incident ended up apparently resolved without any charges (from Clearwater), I believe that there are enough warning bells to indicate that it is not in the city's best interest to retain Officer Mowrer."