Marco officer promoted to supervisor after sex scandal has not performed duties

Devan Patel
Marco Eagle
MIPD Officer Clayton Smith is seen here reporting on the city's beach patrol at a Beach and Coastal Resources Advisory Committee meeting in 2017.

The Marco Island police lieutenant said to have been promoted to provide greater oversight of the department after a sex-on-duty scandal rocked the city has not been performing the listed duties of the job.

Police Chief Al Schettino announced the promotion of officer Clayton Smith to the rank of lieutenant in an email to all police employees on Aug. 3, after the position was posted on July 10.

But in the two months since Smith was promoted, public records show that he has not performed all of the position's duties, including supervising the shift that officers had engaged in sex during.

The Naples Daily News/Marco Eagle submitted a public records request for Smith’s timecards that show Smith has on one occasion, Aug. 17, worked to the end of the night shift associated with his new position. The vast majority of his other shifts have started in mid-morning and lasted until early evening.

When asked why Smith was not performing the duties of the job, including working the shift associated with this position, Capt. Dave Baer responded, “He’s working the schedule as directed by the chief and operations captain. That’s my answer.”

More:Terminated Marco Island police officer accused of having sex on duty

More:Investigation finds two former Marco Island cops were having sex while on duty

The police department has come under intense scrutiny over the past few months after multiple violations of police policy were sustained against officers after the allegations surfaced. 

This tweet from the Marco Island Police Department's Twitter account shows James Inlow being promoted to the rank of sergeant.  In the months up to his promotion, Inlow had been sexting and carrying on an affair while on duty with a young woman.

In late August last year, a young woman alleged that then-Sgt. James Inlow made threats against her after she and Inlow’s wife had gone to confront Inlow about their affair.

An internal affairs investigation ensued in which the woman revealed she had a two-year relationship with Inlow, but violations were not sustained after the woman, then-20 years of age, did not wish to press charges.

Inlow remained on duty until late January when more details emerged.

In January the father of the 20-year old provided Schettino with numerous sexually explicit photos and text messages, including many in which Inlow asked the woman to bring him Adderall.

The father also told Schettino that he would be submitting them as part of the woman's criminal defense in February when she was to appear before a judge on the charge of possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana.

This launched another internal affairs investigation into Inlow and later branched off into three additional investigations as other officers were found to have either known about Inlow’s actions or had inappropriate contact with the same woman. That information came, in part, from a forensic download of the woman's electronic devices by the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.

Although Inlow resigned in February, the allegations against him were sustained after cross-referencing timestamps from the messages and photos to his shift reports.

In a meeting with the Naples Daily News/Marco Eagle on Aug. 22, 2018, Capt. Richard Stoltenberg said that there had been concerns about the woman's age at the time she became intimate with Inlow. 

The internal affairs case files from the August 2017 investigation, however, do not show that department delved deeper into the relationship. Stoltenberg's interview with the woman at that time lasted six minutes and 34 seconds.

An internal affairs investigation found that former Marco Island police sergeant Neil Giansanti had sex on duty on several occasions.

In March, the department launched an investigation into then-Sgt. Neil Giansanti and sustained the same violations after investigators found a 45-second video of Giansanti putting his uniform back on next to his police vehicle on the woman’s phone. Giansanti also resigned prior to the completion of the investigation.

The department could not to track its vehicles through GPS but a timestamp and GPS location attached to the video put the incident in the parking lot of the Family Church of Marco Island at 1:53 a.m., April 4, 2017.

According to shift reports, Giansanti was assigned to work between 6 p.m., April 3, and 6 a.m., April 4. During the shift, Giansanti responded to or initiated eight incidents but none between 1:19 and 2:39 a.m.

Officer Kevin Hennings was the latest casualty when he was fired on Sept. 18 after the department sustained allegations that he also had sex on duty.

Hennings, who is currently mired in a civil suit against the city, denied the allegations in two interviews with department personnel and has started the process towards appealing his termination.

A fourth officer, Det. Brian Granneman, was found to have known about Inlow’s actions while on duty but remains employed as he was issued a written reprimand in May for not reporting Inlow to other supervisors.

The lieutenant's position was eliminated in 2015 but brought back on July 11 of this year, the same day the city began processing the Naples Daily News/Marco Eagle request for the internal affairs documents of the officers tied in question and nearly four months after the department was in possession of evidence that sustained allegations against the two sergeants.

In his email announcing the position,  Schettino wrote: “This new position will round out our organizational structure and provide us with a direct line of supervision over our patrol sergeants and officers. The new Lieutenant’s duties will include, but is not limited to, split shift hours/coverage (4 p.m. – 4 a.m.), planning and coordination of departmental training, scheduling of personnel, review/approval of all police reports and weekly uniform/equipment inspections.”

Documents in both this year and next year's adopted budget do not account for the police department filling the lieutenant's position and list it as still being eliminated.

A review of Smith's timecards shows he has never completed the lieutenant position's 12-hour shift and has worked past midnight twice in the past two months.

Last week, the latest time worked until was 6 p.m., according to his timesheets.

Smith's promotion to lieutenant was not the first time he had been assigned to a reinstated or newly created position.

In May 2017, the department created a support officer position which primarily patrols the beach.

In Schettino's email announcing Smith's promotion to the rank of lieutenant, he wrote: "As a valuable member of the Marco Island Police Department, Clayton was selected for this position due to his police leadership experience, education, commitment and dedication to this agency. For the past three years, Clayton has taken on a leadership role within our agency by helping to develop and implement essential training programs. In his role as support officer, he developed a close liaison with community committees and leaders in their efforts to provide increased patrol coverage and enforcement of our beach and environmental laws."

In his three years of duty up until Aug. 15, Smith had issued 105 tickets and written warnings, according to documents provided by the Marco Island Police Department.

This tweet from the Marco Island Police Department's Twitter account shows the pinning ceremony for Lt. Clayton Smith on Aug. 7, 2018.

Despite the circumstances the police department said were behind the creation of the position, Schettino's email announcing the promotion did not address them and was celebratory in nature.

"We invite everyone to attend a brief badge pinning ceremony at Police H.Q’s on Tuesday August 7 2018 at 6 p.m, so we can congratulate and celebrate with him," Schettino wrote. "Cake and beverages will be provided."

The department spent $58.72 on a cake with a personalized message, "Congratulations Lieutenant Clayton Smith!", and refreshments according to expenditure reports and receipts provided as part of a public records request.