Why has my internal investigation stopped?

stopped investigation

You are under an internal investigation with your agency and now it seems that the investigation stopped with no outcome. I have received several calls about this recently. There may be a legal reason for the sudden interruption of the investigation.

Florida Statute

Florida Statute 112.532(6)(a) provides a time limit for an internal investigation. The clock for that limit starts when, “…the investigation of the allegation is not completed within 180 days after the date the agency receives notice of the allegation by a person authorized by the agency to initiate an investigation of the misconduct.” When someone in an agency who can investigate misconduct receives the allegation from outside the agency the 180-day limit clock starts . There are statutory justifications for tolling, (stopping), that clock.

That same statute says, “Notice to the officer must be provided within 180 days after the date the agency received notice of the alleged misconduct, except as follows:” The statute then provides 6 exceptions. Florida Statute 112.532(6)(a)(5) says that it can be tolled when, “…the Governor has declared a state of emergency within the jurisdictional boundaries of the concerned agency.” At the time of this writing, the Governor has done just that.

State of Emergency

On March 9, 2020, Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-52. That order declared a state of emergency immediately as a result of the Covid-19, (Coronavirus), pandemic. The order expires 60 days later unless extended. As a result, agencies are able to cease their internal investigations without the 180-day clock continuing to run. As long as the state of emergency continues so does the tolling of the time for the internal investigation. Once the state of emergency ends, then the clock starts from the time the investigation stopped.

Contact me, Your Florida Cop Attorney, Martin White, for a free consultation if you find that you are the subject of an internal investigation and have any questions.

stopped investigation

Martin White

I am a retired law enforcement officer and former prosecutor. I now focus my practice on representing law enforcement and corrections officers throughout Florida.