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Lee County deputies fired over the past five years

• May 17, 2013 — Deputy Piotr Urbanski, after he was arrested on drug charges
• May 10 — Sgt. James Magas, after he allegedly lied about his whereabouts while on duty
• December 2012 — Deputy Robert Hamer, after he allegedly had sexually explicit photos on his work computer and allowed a topless woman to be photographed in his patrol car
• November 2012 — Corrections Deputy Andrew Sargis, after he was accused of stealing razors from Publix while in uniform
• October 2012 — Sgt. Ross DiPasquale, for insubordination after he allegedly told deputies he supervised not to do their jobs
• May 2011 — Deputy Paul Greenleaf, after he allegedly used excessive force on a person in custody
• August 2010 — Lee County Deputy Todd Brownson, after a DUI arrest
• July 2010 — Deputy Thomas Chappell, after he allegedly spent part of his shift at a restaurant, had vehicles towed without attempting to contact their owners and was caught speeding
• March 2010 — Deputy Peter Garcia, after he allegedly stole another deputy’s paycheck
• November 2009 — Corrections deputies John Galewski and Anthony Rivera, over an incident involving alleged improper use of a Taser
• May 2009 — Deputy Fay St. Rose, after she allegedly passed messages and candy bars to an inmate
• April 2009 — Lt. Lee Bushong, for alleged improper conduct and insubordination after threatening employees
• February 2009 — Deputy William Edwards, after he was accused of stealing car parts

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Lee County deputies arrested one of their own Friday for the third time in just over a month.

Lee County Deputy Piotr Urbanski was arrested on charges of production and possession of marijuana and possession of drug equipment after deputies allegedly found 23 marijuana plants on his Cape Coral lanai. A search also revealed dried marijuana in the kitchen, two pipes and additional plants in a trash can on the porch, according to a sheriff’s office report.

The sheriff’s office received information Thursday marijuana was being cultivated at the residence Urbanski shares with 29-year-old Shannon Clancey, who was arrested on the same charges. Neither had been arrested before in Lee, according to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office website.

Urbanski, who had been with the sheriff’s office for about a year, was fired Friday.

Lee County Deputy John Eaton was arrested on drug charges in April after deputies said they found steroids, marijuana and drug paraphernalia in his home. He was put on administrative leave, and resigned April 25. Earlier this month, Lee County Deputy Michael J. Ronga was arrested on a felony robbery charge after he allegedly beat and robbed a Bonita Springs man who he was supposed to drive home. Ronga is on unpaid administrative leave, according to the sheriff’s office.

“We stand firm at policing our own house,” Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott said in a statement about Urbanski’s arrest, “and we take immediate action when someone violates the public’s trust.”

The sheriff’s office alleges Urbanski and Clancey were aware of the marijuana plants inside their home. Urbanski said the marijuana was his girlfriend’s and was for medicinal purposes, Scott told News-Press news partner WINK News on Friday. Urbanski said he does not smoke marijuana and offered to take a urine test, Scott added.

“It doesn’t matter to me right now whether his urine is clean or dirty,” Scott told WINK. “He’s fired either way and he’s arrested either way.”

Urbanski, who has been released on bail, could not be reached for comment Friday.

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Scott defended the sheriff’s office vetting process for new hires to WINK, saying a large part of the background check focuses on drug use. Urbanski’s application didn’t raise red flags, he said.

“Actually I’ve already checked the polygraph information, with rather impressive results,” Scott told WINK. “Not only did he pass, he had no indication of any type of drug activity.”

But a report in Urbanski’s personnel file lists his polygraph test results as unsatisfactory. The report does not provide more detail.

Urbanski also admitted to experimenting with marijuana on his employment application.

Urbanski said he used marijuana three times, according to the 2012 application. The first was April/May 2007, and the last was December 2007, according to the document.

The sheriff’s office will consider candidates who have used marijuana, if it was more than two years prior to applying, according to an operations manual revised in February.

Urbanski denied using other illegal substances in his application.

The sheriff’s office declined comment Friday on the discrepancy between Urbanski’s personnel file and what Scott told WINK. Scott’s policy since February 2012 has been not to talk to The News-Press.

Rated highly

Urbanski was hired as a deputy last May with a starting salary of $35,294, according to his personnel file. In bi-monthly performance reviews from November and January, he received above standard ratings in most categories. In both reviews, he received a meets standard rating for adherence to policies and procedures.

Sheriff’s office employees are required to submit to unannounced, random drug testing, according to the office operations manual. It is unknown if Urbanski was ever selected to be tested, as documents relating to drug tests are exempt from public record.

The sheriff’s office also reviews applicants’ criminal history, prior employment, at least three personal references, financial background, driving record, emotional stability and physical fitness.

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