OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – An Osceola County commissioner is accused of impersonating as a law enforcement officer at a Homeowner’s Association meeting, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Fred Wilbur Hawkins, 53, of St. Cloud, is facing one count of false personation, according to investigators.
The Osceola County commissioner turned himself into investigators on Monday, according to FDLE.
“Commissioner Fred Hawkins did not impersonate an officer, as is charged and what will be proven is that he is innocent of the allegation,” Hawkins’ spokesperson Christina Johnson said in a statement.
FDLE said on Nov. 7, 2019 he attempted to gain access to an election of the Turnberry Reserve Homeowner’s Association in Winter Park even though he is not a member of the HOA.
The meeting was held at the library at East Lake Elementary School and the security guard was posted outside checking IDs to make sure that only residents were allowed inside. Approximately 200 people attended the meeting.
Investigators said Hawkins flashed sheriff’s office credentials after a security guard prevented him from entering the room.
“I am a sheriff. I am with the sheriff’s office. I am with the sheriff’s office. You’re about to get arrested,” Hawkins said to the security guard, according to the warrant.
Investigators said he then pushed his body against the security guard and entered the room. The security guard was wearing a body camera.
“Hawkins had requested that charges not be filed against the private security guard who was arrested for battery against him. Commissioner Hawkins has routinely cooperated with investigators in an open and honest fashion and will continue to do so in this next phase,” Johnson said.
FDLE said Hawkins is a special deputy with the Osceola County Sheriff's Office.
This is a honorary title and he does not have the ability to arrest someone and he has never been certified as a law enforcement officer in Florida, according to FDLE.
Investigators said no one from the sheriff’s office asked him to take any action as a special deputy at the HOA election.
He was booked into the Osceola County Jail on a $1,000 bond.
FDLE said the case will be prosecuted by the State Attorney’s Office.