Sheriff's Office dismisses complaint by candidate Angiolillo

Collier County sheriff's candidate Vinny Angiolillo rides an elephant alongside Airport-Pulling Road on Monday morning.

Photo by ERIK KELLAR, Staff // Buy this photo

Collier County sheriff's candidate Vinny Angiolillo rides an elephant alongside Airport-Pulling Road on Monday morning.

Vinny Angiolillo

Vinny Angiolillo

The Collier County Sheriff's Office's internal affairs bureau has dismissed a complaint by sheriff candidate Vincent "Vinny" Angiolillo, who claimed he was subjected to an illegal traffic stop last December.

Cpl. Doug Leffin pulled over Angiolillo on Dec. 10 and cited him for unlawful use of a transporter tag and failure to change an address on a driver license within 10 days, records show. Angiolillo, who is running against incumbent Sheriff Kevin Rambosk for the second time this November, said there was no probable cause for the stop and filed a formal complaint Feb. 12.

Transporter tags are used by businesses that move vehicles that aren't registered and don't have license plates. Angiolillo said he was using the tag in the course of business with his auto repair company.

In a 12-minute video on YouTube, Angiolillo claimed Leffin did not ask for his insurance information, put the incorrect address on the citation, doctored the ticket and towed his vehicle with a noncompliant tow truck. He equated the towing of his vehicle to a carjacking.

Following an internal affairs investigation ending Aug. 14, the Sheriff's Office bureau exonerated Leffin of unlawful conduct and carelessness in duty performance. In response to Angiolillo's claims, the bureau wrote:

Leffin stopped the white Mercury Marquise after observing a transporter tag that "did not appear consistent with Florida statute."

Leffin told internal affairs investigators he wasn't concerned with the tag itself, but on how it was being used.

The transporter tag was not expired, nor was Angiolillo cited for an expired tag.

The address written on the citation was one Angiolillo verbally gave to Leffin.

There is no way to prove which wrecker was used to tow the vehicle or if it was in compliance.

Angiolillo was adjudicated guilty of the traffic violations in March. He is appealing the ruling, according to court records.

Reached by phone, Angiolillo said he had not been notified by the Sheriff's Office of the internal affairs decision.

Asked if he was surprised by the ruling, he said: "Not one bit. They're going to rule in favor of their buddies."

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