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Second-in-command at LCSO suspended, is under investigation

By Staff | Mar 10, 2009

Chief Deputy Charles Ferrante, second-in-command of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, was supposed to tender his letter of retirement Monday.
Instead, he was inexplicably suspended without pay after the agency opened an internal affairs investigation against him, the sheriff’s office reported.
Agency spokesman John Sheehan refused to explain the sudden turnaround, citing the investigation.
The announcement is the latest twist in a strange drama that appears to be playing out behind agency doors.
Ferrante’s brother, Dominick Ferrante, head of the special operations division, resigned from the sheriff’s office Wednesday amid allegations he threatened another captain.
Sheriff Mike Scott told reporters that Dominick Ferrante had failed a polygraph test about the matter and he subsequently resigned, citing “irreconcilable differences” with the agency.
Scott acknowledged that his relationship with the chief deputy became awkward after Dominick Ferrante’s resignation, but he said the pair had “been through worse.”
Then Friday, Scott announced that Charles Ferrante would tender a letter of retirement Monday.
In an interview with a local media, Ferrante said he wanted to look for a chief’s job in an agency elsewhere and that the decision was unrelated to his brother’s resignation. His last day would be April 17, 20 years to the day after he joined the sheriff’s office.
Charles Ferrante was appointed to the chief deputy position in 2005 by the newly-elected Scott.
The position oversees the daily operations of the agency’s five bureaus, corrections, patrol, criminal investigations, special operations and administration.
During his career, Charles Ferrante has served as an assistant district commander, head of the fugitive warrants unit and a member of the SWAT team.
A native of New York City, he joined the sheriff’s office in 1989 as a corrections deputy.

Steven Beardsley is a staff writer for the Naples Daily News. Contact sbeardsley@naplesnews.com.