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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Deputy Suspended Over Cheeseburger Stunt

Fouled-up Fast Food Order Gets Polk Deputy Suspended
The Ledger by Matthew Pleasant - May 13, 2011
Restaurant workers told to show their driver licenses.

LAKELAND, FL - A Polk County deputy was suspended in April after an investigation found he demanded driver licenses from Burger King workers and called a police officer after the restaurant incorrectly filled his wife's order. Deputy Jason Platt, 31, called the officer, a personal friend, to the U.S. 98 restaurant in Lakeland but she refused to get involved, a report on the investigation says. "I find it disturbing that a deputy sheriff would tarnish the image of the Polk County Sheriff's Office by getting involved in a dispute over a cheeseburger order at Burger King," wrote sheriff's Capt. Kevin Widner in a memo to his supervisor included in the investigation report. Widner is captain of the sheriff's northwest district and is the commander over Platt. Platt, who was on duty at the time, was suspended for 16 hours after the Sheriff's Office found he violated its policies prohibiting involvement in family-related disputes, exhibiting conduct unbecoming to a deputy and for refusing to give a Burger King manager his name. Unclear is why Platt called the Lakeland officer. Widner concluded "there was no legal premise for any law enforcement agency to be involved in this petty situation." Platt joined the Sheriff's Office in August 2005 and earns about $41,000 annually. The suspension cost him about $315. He declined a request for comment. The incident happened the evening of March 7 when Platt's wife, Tara Platt, called her husband to tell him the Burger King at 3212 U.S. 98 N. gave her the wrong order. Platt called Lakeland officer Tammy Hathcock to respond to the restaurant, which is outside the Sheriff's Office jurisdiction, he says in a written statement taken during the investigation.

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