NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE
PORT CHARLOTTE -
Two former Charlotte County detectives who filed whistle-blower lawsuits against the Sheriff's Office have accepted settlements of $87,500 each.
Detectives Keith M. Bennett and Grant C. Davis, who were fired in 2003, claimed in one combined federal lawsuit that administrators retaliated against them because they aided an FBI investigation of one of their colleagues.
Bennett and Davis were members of a vice squad unit that was riddled with problems.
The most serious misconduct case involved Deputy Wyatt Henderson, a narcotics detective who pistol-whipped a teenage drug suspect in May 2002.
After the incident, Bennett and Davis detailed in separate reports that they did not see or hear fellow narcotics agent Henderson smash his gun against the 17-year-old's face.
The blow broke the boy's jaw.
Several months later, the two detectives changed their story. They said they told a high-ranking sheriff's director, and later the FBI, that Henderson, their supervisor, had struck the unarmed teen.