Orange County, Fl., Sheriff Kevin Beary has apologized for rebuking a woman who criticized his deputies’ use of stun guns and his physical condition, the Orlando Sentinel reports. Beary defended his use of a restricted database to obtain the home address of Alice Gawronski to write her last month. “Please know that I remain confident that I was within the purview of the Florida Public Records Law when I obtained your mailing address,” Beary said. Gawronski wrote a letter to the editor of the Orlando Sentinel questioning the growing use of Tasers by local police. She said that Beary is “too overweight and out of shape” to subdue suspects without a Taser. Beary fired off a letter in response and had his staff use a restricted drivers-license record to get Gawronski’s address.
The apology came as police agencies were reviewing the use of restricted records in the wake of an Orlando Sentinel article about Beary’s actions. Seminole County Sheriff Don Eslinger has ordered his staff to develop a clear policy on the handling of records that are supposed to be used for law-enforcement purposes. What is an allowable law-enforcement use of restricted records remains unclear.