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Records: Officer involved in Oviedo shooting was fired, rehired

Disciplinary records show 3 internal investigations

OVIEDO, Fla. – In just three years with the Oviedo Police Department, Officer Matthew Danler has been the subject of three internal investigations.

All three internal investigations show complaints against Danler were sustained. The most recent investigation resulted in Danler's termination.

On Thursday, the department and the police union said Danler was justified when he opened fire on a driver on Sharon Court, striking the driver once. The driver survived. Danler said the driver was attempting to run him over and he feared for his life. Oviedo Police said it was the first officer-involved shooting in the city in more than 30 years.

After the shooting, News 6 requested copies of Danler's disciplinary records and received more than 100 pages of records on Tuesday.

The records show Danler was suspended in July 2014 for violations of obedience and safe driving for going 104 mph through Oviedo during an unauthorized pursuit.

In March 2015, Danler was suspended for turning off his camera after pulling over a detective who may have been intoxicated. Danler allowed the detective to leave and did not immediately report the traffic stop.

In September 2015, Danler was terminated for insubordination after pulling over a tree trimmer despite direct orders not to. Records also show he got into a shouting match with a supervisor.

Chief Jeffrey Chudnow recommended the termination but the Coastal Florida PBA fought the city's decision and an arbitrator ordered Danler be reinstated, saying the city did not have "just cause" to terminate Danler and instead should have suspended him.

On Tuesday, Chudnow stood by his decision but pointed out there appears to be no connection between Danler's disciplinary record and last Thursday's shooting.

"As you know from looking at the files, there are no use of force complaints, no use of force issues with officer Danler," said Chudnow. "Since he came back upon reinstatement there has not been any disciplinary action."

"Does it bother you he came back?" asked News 6 anchor Erik von Ancken.

"I would say we have to live with the arbitrator's decision," said Chudnow.

Currently the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating Thursday's officer-involved shooting and Danler's role.

"Officer Danler is awaiting the completion of the investigation with the belief it will show that his shooting was a clean shoot, and that it was justified under the circumstances," wrote Mike Scudiero of the Coastal PBA/PEA in an email to News 6. "We stand by Officer Danler, as we do all officers when they are faced with making life-or-death decisions. Officer Danler has an  accomplished history in Oviedo and has never had allegation of unnecessary use of force. We look forward to helping him during this difficult time so that he may return to the job he loves expeditiously."


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