A long-time Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office employee’s record shows a history of complaints filed before several felony charges were filed against him. But before that, he worked in Bradenton.
Frankie Eugene Bybee, 46, an 18-year Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office employee, is facing several charges in connection with the alleged attempted murder of a Sarasota woman and “rehoming” her dog while she was in the hospital.
Bybee was a full-time employee of the Bradenton Police Department from September 1996 to December of 1998, according to a page from Bybee’s personnel file provided to the Bradenton Herald through a public records request. The reason for leaving the department was listed as “voluntary seperation.”
The Bradenton Herald has made a public records request for Bybee’s personnel file from the Bradenton Police Department. A city official said in an email Tuesday morning the request has been received.
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Bybee was also employed part-time at the Mount Dora Police Department for approximately five months in 1992.
When the charges were filed against him Monday, it was not the first time he had seen trouble during his time at the Sarasota sheriff’s office. Bybee was under investigation five times before the incident announced Monday, administrative investigation records show.
The first administrative investigation was filed in 2008 . However, the investigation found insufficient information to sustain the allegations. Bybee was ordered to have no contact with the victims on Feb. 1, 2008.
In February 2008, another internal investigation was opened after Bybee allegedly told other agency members he was the subject of an active internal investigation after being prohibited from speaking about the investigation and used his patrol car while off duty, reports show. Several witnesses gave similar statements that Bybee spoke with them about details of the internal investigation.
In interviews regarding the investigation, Bybee admitted to discussing the ongoing internal investigation and driving the patrol vehicle on off duty days on “numerous occasions,” according to the administrative investigation report. He acknowledged he knew it was wrong to do so.
Sufficient information was found to sustain the allegations, documents show. Bybee was reprimanded March 28, 2008, for the use of his patrol vehicle on off duty days and was suspended for 40 hours without pay between March 31, 2008, and April 4, 2008, according to reports.
In 2011, Bybee was the subject of two internal investigations, but neither resulted in disciplinary action.
In September 2014, more allegations arose, prompting a fifth internal investigation that ended in a 56-hour suspension Oct. 10, 2014, to Oct. 18, 2014, for absence without authorized leave and untruthfulness after Bybee participated in a news interview unrelated to sheriff’s office duties. The investigation found he completed the interview during duty hours and was untruthful with supervisors about when it occurred.
A civil case was filed in the Circuit Court of the Twelfth Judicial District in April 2015 alleging Knight “punished” Bybee for a YouTube video and the news interview. The case is still open.
Monday, officials announced Bybee faced charges of larceny, exploitation of the elderly of $50,000 or more, forgery, burglary of an occupied dwelling, battery on a person 65 or older and attempted murder.
After she filed a complaint, he was placed on administrative leave, and allegedly tried to kill the woman and stage it to look like a suicide three days later after he broke into her home.
Sarasota County Sheriff Thomas Knight said during a press conference Monday paperwork to terminate Bybee was initiated.
Court documents on Monday show he’s declined the application for appointment of a public defender, though no attorney appears on the court site yet.
Administrative investigations involving Bybee during his time with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office
- 2008: Allegations included conducting improper searches of a tenant’s home, conducting himself in an inappropriate manner, misusing his authority. Claims were found to be not sustained. A no contact order was issued. No disciplinary action was taken.
- 2008: Allegations included he revealed himself as the subject of an active internal investigation and used his sheriff’s office vehicle while off-duty. Claims were found to be sustained. Bybee was suspended for five days and reprimanded for use of the vehicle.
- 2011: Allegations included discrimination and “general orders and rule violations.” Claims were found to be unfounded. No disciplinary action was taken.
- 2011: Allegations included harassment/discrimination. Claims were found to be not sustained. No disciplinary action was taken.
- 2014: Allegations included disregarding job duties by neglect, untruthfulness, and product endorsement and publicity. The investigation found insufficient information on the allegations of disregarding job duties by neglect and product endorsement and publicity. However, there was sufficient information to sustain the allegation of misconduct regarding untruthfulness, and an additional absence without authorized leave standard. Bybee was suspended for a total of seven days.