OPD fires officer arrested twice in January

Orlandoh Police Officer Sean Gilhuly was arrested twice in January, fired Monday.

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Orlando police officer who was arrested for two incidents within nine days earlier this year was fired on Monday, officials said.

Sean Gilhuly, 31, was on paid leave during an internal investigation looking into the arrests: one for leaving the scene of an accident and threatening to run over a woman with his SUV on Jan. 10, and another for drunken driving in Oviedo on Jan. 19.

“One criminal act is unacceptable, but to commit two criminal acts within nine days of each other is reprehensible and will not be tolerated,” Gilhuly’s termination letter said.

He pleaded no contest to leaving the scene of an accident in August, according to court records.

Gilhuly’s attorney said he disagrees with the firing.

“He’s a good cop,” said attorney David Bigney. “He had a short run of bad luck. He’s dealt with the issues that he’s had. I think it is a tremendous loss to the Orlando Police Department.”

The incident occurred in a shopping center on Kirkman Road near Florida’s Turnpike when he backed his SUV into a woman’s vehicle.

As Gilhuly was trying to leave, the woman stood in his path. He kept going, forcing her to walk backward for about 10 or 15 feet.

She was worried that he might run her over so she stepped aside and he fled the scene, according to the arrest-affidavit.

He was also charged with assault with a deadly weapon, but that charge was thrown out.

In Gilhuly’s testimony to OPD’s Internal Affairs, he said he had been drinking alcohol and had taken some medication. He was going out for food when the incident happened, the termination letter said.

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“I would just say I panicked,” he said, according to the letter. “I was nervous because of the drinking, or, uh, the drinking factor of it.”

In the drunken driving arrest, Gilhuly sat through two green lights at West Mitchell Hammock Road and State Road 434 in Oviedo and found with an open bottle of peach vodka, police said. He then became combative, yelling obscenities and kicking out a patrol cruiser window, police said.

The case is still pending, according to Seminole County court records.

Gilhuly, a former offensive lineman at University of Central Florida, was hired at OPD in 2011 and was making $51,000 a year.

There was “just cause” for his firing, the letter stated.

“The conduct outlined in the investigation cannot be tolerated by an employee of the Orlando Police Department and undermines the employee’s credibility as a law enforcement officer,” the letter said.

Bigney said his client was disappointed with the decision and still trying to decide what to do next.

“He really loves being a police officer and he really loves the Orlando Police Department,” said Bigney. “He was hoping to make a career with that department.”

Story found on http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/breaking-news/os-sean-gilhuly-fired-opd-20141111-story.html

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