Sheriff Donald F Eslinger
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Involved Parties:

  1. Sheriff Donald Francis Eslinger (Sheriff of Seminole County Florida)
  2. Joy Williams Laney aka Joy Williams (Employee Seminole County Sheriff's Office) ( Office of Professional Standards )
  3. Sgt. Michael J. Laney (Deputy Sheriff SCSO)

Reported by:

  1. Mr. Ralph E.(Gene) Taylor Former Oviedo Police Officer & member of the Seminole County Sheriff's Office CCIB Unit ( City County Investigative Bureau )
     This investigation into the allegations made by Seminole County Deputy Sheriff Michael Jay Laney began while conducting research into the "Seminole County Grand Jury Spring Term 1992".  During a conversation with Mr. Ralph (Gene) Taylor he told me of conversations that he had as a Oviedo Police Officer with Deputy Laney. Mr. Taylor advised that these conversations took place prior to January 1, 1995 and took place while both men were on duty. Due to the serious nature of the allegations, I requested that Mr. Taylor provide a written statement. On 08/11/2010 the statement was obtained.

     Because of our laws concerning libel and slander I felt that it was very important to obtain as much information as possible on Deputy Laney as well as Mr. Taylor prior to disclosing the statement that I had been provided with. I had worked with Officer Taylor during the time that I was assigned to the Seminole County SWAT Unit as well as being the Intelligence Officer for the Altamonte Springs Police Department. While we knew each other professionally and even had a couple of beers together off duty, we were not what you would consider close friends.

     I started this investigation with Mr. Taylor and began looking into what type of officer he had been and the man that he now appeared to be. If you are from around here you might remember that Officer Ralph E. Taylor while assigned to the CCIB unit under Lt. Donald F. Eslinger was unlawfully arrested. The charge was possession of a controlled substance in his blood. He was Booked into the Seminole County Jail, had to post bond, and then treated by the law enforcement community as a dirty cop. The news media was tipped off and Officer Taylor was forced from his home and had to hide from the press. A few days after the "unlawful arrest", Officer Taylors father passed away. Approximately one week after his fathers death a Doctor from Wuesthoff hospital which had conducted the tests discovered the news of the arrest and immediately contacted the Chief of Police of Oviedo. The Office of the State Attorney was contacted and all charges were dropped. I could have simply provided a link to this information but this would not do justice to my friend, Ralph Taylor, and what he had to suffer at the hands of Sheriff Eslinger.

     The nature of this unlawful arrest was so obvious that a Grand Jury was convened to look into the circumstances around the actions of Lt. Donald Eslinger and the other employees of the Seminole County Sheriff's Office. Let me share with you a few words from the Grand Jury Report  in order for you to understand the character of Officer Taylor:

      "Our inquiry leads us today to declare unequivocally the innocence of Officer Taylor. In addition we find that Sheriff Eslinger ignored Sheriff's Office procedures and by doing so brought about this miscarriage of justice".

Pages 8-9:
      "In light of all the evidence we have gathered, we believe that it is our first duty to declare that beyond all doubt Officer Ralph Taylor is totally innocent of the charges brought against him. We know that the ordeal he suffered has brought him hardship and heartbreak which can never be totally undone. Yet our intent today is to restore to him his good name and his reputation and to offer to him on behalf of all the citizens of Seminole County an apology for the terrible injustice done to him. Throughout our investigation, we had much discussion about integrity. We would simply state that Officer Taylor is a man of integrity."


     So now we have an understanding of the man who has reported this allegation. I then started to look into Deputy Michael Jay Laney. The following is just some of what I discovered:

  1. January 12, 1988 to January 11, 1989
          Employed by the Seminole County Sheriff's Office as a Corrections Officer.
  2. FIRED by Sheriff John E. Polk
           (Orlando Sentinel Article 1-25-1989) "Polk said Tuesday he fired Laney because of the Sanford incident, "but the biggest thing was he lied, or he wasn't truthful."
  3. January 13, 1989
          Michael Laney submits application  for Police Dispatcher job with the Oviedo Police Department. NOTE: Laney leaves BLANK the reason for leaving the Seminole County Sheriffs Office.
  4. January 18, 1989
          Sheriff Polk then allows Corrections Officer Laney to "RESIGN".  See Affidavit of Termination signed by AILEEN M. KILFEATHER, Personnel Director. NOTE: REMEMBER THIS NAME, * KILFEATHER, IT WILL RESURFACE LATER.
  5. May 18, 1989
          Michael Laney, while employed as a dispatcher with the Oviedo Police Department submits a second application, this one for the position of Police Officer for the City of Oviedo.
     1. Laney writes the reason for leaving the Seminole County Sheriff's Department as "PERSONAL".
     2. Laney leaves BLANK, under "Disciplinary action received." Laney becomes an Oviedo Police Officer.
  6. February 3, 1990
          Michael Laney commits several CRIMES in connection to a motor vehicle accident that occurred at the BARN in Sanford Florida. Laney conspires with others to conceal his crime. Officer Laney allows his girlfriend to report that she was the driver of a vehicle which was involved in a motor vehicle accident.

    1. February 13, 1990 - Laney admits his CRIMES to Sanford Officer Kenny Kaiser.
    2. February 15, 1990 - Laneys girlfriend , meets with Sanford Chief of Police STEVE HARRIETT , and confesses to him her part in the CRIMES.
    3. February 16, 1990 - Officer Laney then meets with CHIEF HARRIETT and confesses his CRIMES.
    4. February 16, 1990 - Oviedo Chief of Police Dennis Peterson, Lt. James Smeltzer and Officer Laney meet with Assistant States Attorney, ROBERT KILFEATHER.* The State Attorney declines to prosecute.
    5. February 23, 1990 - The Internal Investigation by the Oviedo Police Department # 90-03 is completed.

      Officer Laney is FOUND GUILTY of:
      1. LYING (RR 1000-4 TRUTHFULNESS)
  7. February 23, 1990 - Officer Laney submits a LETTER OF RESIGNATION.
  8. November 6, 1992
          Michael Laney submits an application with the Seminole County Sheriff's Office for the position of CORRECTIONS OFFICER.
    NOTE: On page # 4 of the application  Mr. Laney answers the questions:
    1. Have you ever been dismissed, involuntarily terminated or laid off of any employment or job?" "NO" is his answer.
    2. Have you had any disciplinary action taken against you under any employment circumstances (demotion, suspension, reprimand, etc.)?" "NO" is his answer. Laney further wrote, "Reason for leaving "(SCSO in 1989), "To become a Police Officer/Personal"
  9. January 12, 1993
          Michael Jay Laney is hired for the second time by the Seminole County Sheriff's Office,this time by Sheriff DONALD F. ESLINGER.
NOTE: Corrections Officer Laney had been FIRED by Sheriff John E. Polk and then allowed to resign. We will address this issue in a following article.

     Having discovered the history of Gene Taylor and Deputy Michael Laney I had to make a decision as to who I should believe. My decision was pretty easy. A man of HONOR and INTEGRITY or an admitted CRIMINAL and LIAR. I've placed my trust and faith in what Gene Taylor stated happened. Now I had to determine if what Deputy Laney had told Officer Taylor was the truth or was Deputy Laney lying about Sheriff Eslinger.

     On August 27, 2010, I e-mailed and then delivered a letter to Sgt. Michael Jay Laney at the Seminole County Sheriff's Office. In this letter I confronted Sgt. Laney with the information I had obtained and requested a reply. Either admit, deny or explain. A copy of this letter was forwarded to Assistant Commissioner Mark Zadra and James Martin with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). Laney has not replied

     On August 30, 2010, I delivered a letter to Joy Williams the former wife of Deputy Laney. In her letter I confronted her with the allegations made by her former husband and requested that she admit, deny or explain. Ms. Williams has not replied.

     On October 7, 2010, after not having received a reply from Sgt. Laney or Ms. Williams I sent a certified letter to Sheriff Donald F. Eslinger and included copies of the letters sent to Sgt.Laney and Ms.Williams. In my letter to Sheriff Eslinger I requested that his office or another Agency conduct an investigation into the allegations made by Deputy Michael Jay Laney. As I advised Sheriff Eslinger there were one of three conclusions to be reached:
     1. Deputy Laney never had conversations with Officer Gene Taylor nor any other Law Enforcement officers concerning the allegations.
     2. The conversations did occur and Deputy Laney had once again lied but this time about the Sheriff and his wife, Joy Williams.
     3. The conversations did occur and Deputy Laney was being truthful in that Sheriff Eslinger was having a sexual relationship with his wife and using his position as Sheriff to assign Deputy Laney to a patrol zone away from his home in order to have a sexual relationship with his wife.

     On October 25, 2010 I e-mailed Sheriff Eslinger a request for the status of the investigation and advised that I would provide the investigator assigned with the documentation in support of these allegations.

Sheriff Eslinger refuses to reply.

The question that I present to you is WHY?


Maybe Sheriff Eslinger would be compelled to address these allegations and seek the truth if more Citizens of Seminole County, would ask questions and demand a truthful answer.
SHERIFF ESLINGER and CHIEF DEPUTY SHERIFF STEVE HARRIETT, (The former Sanford Chief of Police to whom Officer Laney confessed his crimes) can be reached at 407-665-6699.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing"
-Edmund Burke