February 10, 2016

Sheriff’s sergeant arrested

A road patrol sergeant with the Sheriff’s Office was arrested today, charged with falsifying an official document.

Sgt. Ralph Williams, who works for the Islamorada District of the Sheriff’s Office, is accused of falsifying a speeding ticket in October of 2015. The case came to the attention of the Sheriff’s Office after an officer who backed him up on the traffic stop in October brought it to the attention of the Sheriff’s Office Internal Affairs Unit.

On October 26th, Sgt. Williams pulled a car over for speeding at the 89 mile marker of the highway. The man who was driving did not have a driver’s license. His girlfriend, who was a passenger in the car with her 11 year old daughter, did have a valid license. Sgt. Williams explained to her that he could arrest both of them – him for driving without a license and her for knowingly allowing him to do so. He explained if he arrested them both, he would contact social services to take custody of the daughter.

The woman pleaded with him to give them a “break”. Instead of arresting the male driver, Sgt. Williams issued a speeding citation to the female passenger.

A deputy backed him up on the initial stop, but left before Sgt. Williams issued the citation. Sgt. Williams told the deputy later what had transpired. The deputy reportedly told Sgt. Williams what he did was not right. He later reported the incident to Internal Affairs and an investigation was initiated.

During an interview with the woman who received the citation, she told investigators she figured his actions may not have been right, but she did not want to get him in trouble.

Sgt. Williams was arrested today and charged with a misdemeanor charge of falsifying an official document; he has been transferred from his law enforcement position to a civilian position in our communications center.

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