TAMPA, Fla. — According to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Office of the Inspector General 2016-2017 Annual Report case summaries, troopers were fired for providing false court testimony, distributing inappropriate photos of a recruit, and participated in a sex act in their FHP vehicle, to name a few.
Robert Abruzzese says those investigators are extremely concerning to learn, but he is not surprised. On Dec. 22, Abruzzese filed a complaint with FHP regarding Trooper Scott Maus for having an affair with his wife. The next day Abruzzese said he couldn’t believe what he heard on a message left for him by a lieutenant with FHP.
He played that voicemail for us that said, “Yes sir, this is Lt. Hensley with the Florida Highway Patrol, I got a message to call you neighbor.”
“Neighbor?” Abruzzese said. “Good ol’ boy network right off the top of the bat. It’s like right now I have no words for that. There’s a bunch of emotions. I have the emotions inside the house with my family, and the emotions with them, right now is just anger and disappointment; totally dropped the ball.”
After that phone call on Dec. 23, Abruzzese received another call from an investigator with the Office of Professional Compliance, that call was received on Dec. 26. Abruzzese said the voicemail sounded more professional, but his trust in getting a fair investigation into the trooper’s actions was gone. So, he called the governor’s office, his local legislator, and the media.
Abruzzese said his wife admitted to sending and receiving selfies, and sexually explicit message from Maus. He also says his wife confessed to having sex with the trooper multiple times while he was on duty. Maus started working for FHP in Nov. 2014.
“They wanted to keep it quiet, they don’t want their agency dragged through the mud, they wanted to keep it in the troop,” Abruzzese said. “
“I said what I have to say and if I didn’t, this would’ve gotten nowhere. Then somebody else may have been doing the story five years from now and how many other people in between.”
Abruzzese said he feels intimidated by troopers working in that officers unit. He said an officer drove slowly past his home this morning when he was leaving to go to the store.
“As I walked out a few steps more here he comes moseying on by,” Abruzzese said he took it as a message. “Was I scared yeah, then it immediately turned to rage. I don’t believe it, I don’t believe it. Maybe there was a call, maybe there wasn’t. Maybe it’s a great coincidence. But, it that nothing to do with how they responded in the beginning. They are not going to intimidate me. I’m here I spoke up deal with it.”
We spoke to Maus on the phone, he refused to comment and hung up. We’ve also been in contact with FHP who tell us there is an active and open investigation into all allegations made by Abruzzese.
As for the officer that drove by Abruzzese’s home. ABC Action News confirmed there was a vehicle that slid into a mailbox causing minor damage. The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that it is common for FHP to handle traffic crashes into homes in that subdivision. Just depends on which agency is closer to respond.