The Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission unanimously voted to permanently revoke former Bradenton police deputy chief Warren Merriman’s law enforcement certification at a hearing Thursday in St. Augustine.
Merriman was convicted on one count of petit theft in February of 2016 for submitting hours he did not work and was sentenced to serve three months of probation. He was fired in January of 2015.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement filed an administrative complaint against Merriman in October 2016 for violating CJSTC standards and failing to maintain the qualifications of “good moral character” required to be a law enforcement officer.
No other police department will have to suffer with him.
Bradenton Mayor Wayne Poston
The CJSTC’s 19-member board decision was unanimous and means Merriman cannot serve as a law enforcement officer anywhere in the state of Florida.
“I think it was an appropriate decision and one they almost never make,” said Bradenton Mayor Wayne Poston. “The police department made a good case for his lack of leadership abilities and lack of consideration for police officers. No other police department will have to suffer with him.”
Merriman, who ran for mayor last year, was originally scheduled to appear for his disciplinary hearing just five days before the Nov. 8 election. He initially said he would appear but pushed the hearing to January just days before the election.
In a letter to the FDLE, Bradenton police Capt. John Affolter outlined the department’s case for the FDLE to present to the CJSTC panel, saying Merriman’s actions were “unethical and unlawful.”
Affolter went on to say, “Warren Merriman’s actions tarnished the image of the Bradenton Police Department and impacted confidence in our stakeholders,” Affolter wrote. “Many of the violations against him are directly related to his lack of honesty and discretion.”
Merriman, now working as a Realtor, did not immediately return a request for comment.