Two deputies from Florida’s Orange County Police Department were disciplined for improperly leaking the news of comedian Bob Saget’s death before his family could be notified.
Deputies Emiliano Silva and Steven Reed were found in violation of the department’s dissemination of information directive when they told family and friends about the actor’s death, which “resulted in an influx of media inquiries at a time when Mr. Saget’s next-of-kin had not been notified and Homicide Unit detectives had not even arrived at the scene,” according to an administrative investigation report obtained by Insider.
Saget, best known for his role as Danny Tanner in the ABC sitcom “Full House,” was found dead in his hotel room on January 9, having suffered from “head trauma” caused by a fall. An investigation found no signs of foul play and no drugs or alcohol in his system.
In the days following his passing, his family released a statement to Entertainment Tonight that said “he accidentally hit the back of his head on something, thought nothing of it and went to sleep.”
Silva, who responded to the scene of the tragedy, texted the news with his brother, who minutes later tweeted “RIP Bob Saget,” prompting press inquiries to be sent to the department’s communication director.
Reed, who was off-duty at the time, texted the news to friends who had recently seen Saget perform.
“Hindsight, probably shouldn’t have shared it in the way and the manner that I did,” Reed said in his disciplinary interview.
Each deputy faced an 81-hour suspension without pay for their actions, according to an Orange County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson. They were represented in their disciplinary meetings by Jay Smith of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #93.
“This case highlights how important it is to allow detectives in death investigations the time to ensure next of kin notifications are made before that information is disseminated to the public,” Orange County Sheriff John Mina said in a statement sent to Insider. “The deputies acknowledged their wrongdoing and were disciplined for their actions” [Business Insider].
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