Former CCSO employee faces confidentiality violations

A former CCSO crime scene specialist has been arrested for allegedly violating the agency’s rules on confidential information.

Just before 6 p.m. on Friday, Citrus County Sheriff’s Office detectives arrested a former CCSO crime scene specialist on a warrant for disclosure of confidential information.

Ashley Pate, who has been with CCSO since December of 2007, was terminated from the agency on July 13 after an investigation revealed she had violated five agency policies, the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement it released on Friday.

Those policies include:

  • 108.00 (VI) (A) 27 – Code of Conduct; Negligence – Endangering Others
  • 108.00 (VI) (B) 5 –   Code of Conduct; Association with Criminals
  • 108.00 (VI) (B) 22 – Code of Conduct; Interference with Official Investigations
  • 108.00 (VI) (B) 26 – Code of Conduct; Communicating Confidential Law Enforcement Information
  • 108.00 (VI) (B) 54 – Code of Conduct; Untruthfulness in an Official Inquiry

“We will not tolerate any type of criminal activity by our employees – especially anything that jeopardizes the safety of our law enforcement officers or the integrity of what this agency has stood for over the past 131 years,” says Sheriff Mike Prendergast.

“Our deputies risk their lives every day to protect the citizens of Citrus County and this former employee’s actions compromised sensitive investigations.  Most importantly, her crimes could have led to serious injuries or death for members of the CCSO family.”

Pate, 34, of Inverness, is charged with one count of disclosure or use of confidential criminal justice information.

A Sheriff’s Office spokesperson said that this is an open and active investigation.


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