PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. -- A Putnam County sheriff's deputy was dismissed Friday after an investigation of whether he had stalked a former girlfriend and violated discipline standards, according to the Florida-Times Union.
Detective John Merchant had texted the former girlfriend over a span of 53 days after being told repeatedly to stop, the Sheriff's Office said in a written statement.
"I am disappointed to lose a veteran detective like John, but I am committed to maintaining a professional organization," Sheriff Jeff Hardy said in the statement. "We continue to demand high standards and expect every employee to meet them".
The statement said Hardy's agency found probable cause to file a criminal stalking complaint with prosecutors, although online jail records do not reflect Merchant having been arrested.
The former girlfriend had received a temporary injunction against repeat violence, the statement said.
In addition to the criminal complaint, an administrative review concluded Merchant had been involved in conduct unbecoming an officer, harassment or discrimination and a gross violation of Sheriff's Office standards, the agency said.