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State attorney's office reviews investigation of Bradenton police second-in-command

BRADENTON -- The State Attorney's Office is reviewing the investigation into Bradenton Police Deputy Chief Warren Merriman after allegations of criminal and administrative wrongdoing.

Merriman, an 17-year veteran with a nearly spotless discipline record with the department, was placed on administrative leave with pay Sept. 8.

The Manatee County Sheriff's Office was asked to handle the investigation because Merriman outranks the agency's Internal Affairs Department.

After weeks of investigation, the file was handed over to the State Attorney's

Office a couple weeks ago, be asked to further investigate, if the State Attorney's Office finds necessary.

At the time he was placed on leave, Merriman's discipline record contained three traffic infractions.

The Bradenton Police Department remains in the dark about the ongoing investigation, according to Chief Michael Radzilowski.

"We do not want to show any favoritism or bias," Radzilowski said. "The sheriff's office is handling the entire thing and we are staying out of it."

Merriman, a U.S. Navy veteran, has worked for the Bradenton Police Department since 1997.

Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.