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Background check into Sheriff Carmine Marceno shows drug use and problem polygraph

Posted at 9:55 PM, Nov 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-27 23:21:16-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. — FOX 4 has obtained new documents pointing to Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno's admitted illegal drug use. In an 8-page background investigation report , as part of the application process for the Collier County Sheriff's Office in 2002, the words "not recommended" are at the top of the first page.

On page 7 of the background investigation report, it states, "This applicant's admission to the use of steroid pills at one a day for two weeks would equal 14 pills. This would be in violation of our current drug policy, which states that any repeated unlawful use of any controlled substance, other than marijuana, beyond five times is grounds for automatic disqualification from further consideration as an applicant for a position with the Collier County Sheriff's Office."

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When asked why Marceno was still hired, the Collier County Sheriff's Office sent FOX 4 this statement, "The decision relating to the employment of Carmine Marceno by the Collier County Sheriff's Office was made by a previous administration. Our only records of that are contained within the personnel file with which you have been provided."

As routine when applying for a job with CCSO, Marceno also agreed to a polygraph test. There were irregularities in his first test. The report says in part, "During the entire examination the examinee engaged in deep breath distortions, movement distortions, and long delays." When the examiner pointed out Marceno's behavior to him, the report says Marceno apologized, and that he was aware he was engaging in the distortions. He was ordered to take a second lie detector test. The result for both polygraph tests resulted in "No opinion. Admin decision."

The background check also points out issues FOX 4 detailed in a July investigation. Since that July report, FOX 4 learned the Florida Department of Law Enforcement opened a criminal investigation into the appointed sheriff. It's based on documentation that he did not meet what is called the "Equivalency of Training" or EOT, requirements to be eligible to take the Florida law enforcement exam, without going through the typical 800-hour police academy.

RELATED: INVESTIGATING DISCREPANCIES IN LEE COUNTY SHERIFF MARCENO'S BACKGROUND

Marceno has hired a lawyer out of Tallahassee, who declined to offer a comment, citing that the investigation is still active.