Four Arrests Made In Escambia County EMS Investigation

March 24, 2020

Four people have been arrested for allegedly falsifying Escambia County EMS records.

Those arrested Tuesday afternoon were:

  • Stephen White, former chief of EMS operations
  • Katherine Kenny, paramedic supervisor
  • Lawrence Salter, Jr.,  former deputy chief of EMS Operations
  • James Bonoyer, former captain in charge of training, quality assurance, and American Heart Association training center coordinator for the county

“The investigation is complete is unless we receive additional information,” State Attorney Bill Eddins told NorthEscambia.com. “I would like the public to know that my office will not tolerate this kind of conduct.”

Eddins said he assigned a special prosecutor to the case, and his office will be seeking jail time for all four defendants.

He said the arrests are the result of a detailed and lengthy investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement into the alleged falsification of official records of the Escambia County Department of Public Safety.  The investigation began after a 2019 letter from Escambia County Medical Director Dr. Rayme Edler.

“I am glad the criminal investigation has finally come to a close,” Escambia County Administrator Gilley said. “We are going to continue to provide full cooperation to the State Attorney’s Office as they continue their process.”

“I want to thank the Board of County Commissioners. They have been supportive in uprooting this type of malfeasance,” she  said. “I appreciate their trust they have showed me in allowing time to work with our law enforcement partners in the best interest of the public.”

The records alleged to have been falsified pertain to mandatory training courses with the American Heart Association. Successful completion of these courses is a requirement for a paramedic’s license with the State of Florida and employment as an Escambia County EMS paramedic. These courses include basic life support, advanced cardiac life support, pediatric advanced life support and pediatric emergency assessment, recognition and stabilization.

Bonoyer is charged with one count of Racketeering, a first degree felony. Racketeering is punishable with a maximum penalty of 30 years in state prison. He is also charged with 23 counts of official misconduct, a third degree felony. All third degree felonies are punishable by a maximum penalty of five years in state prison. Additionally, Bonoyer faces 20 counts of forgery, a third degree felony, and 13 of paramedic license fraud, a first degree misdemeanor. All first degree misdemeanors are punishable by a maximum penalty of one year in county jail. He was previously employed by the Escambia County Department of Public Safety as the American Heart Association Training Center coordinator and a paramedic.

Kenney is charged with one count of racketeering, a first degree felony, five (5) counts of Official Misconduct, a third degree felony, five (5) counts of Uttering a Forged Instrument, a third degree felony, and four counts of paramedic license fraud, a first degree misdemeanor. At the time of her arrest, she was employed by EMS as a paramedic supervisor. She was immediately terminated by Gilley.

Salter is charged with three counts of official misconduct, a third degree felony, three counts of uttering a forged instrument, a third degree felony, and two counts of paramedic license fraud a first degree misdemeanor. He was previously by Escambia County as deputy chief of operations and a paramedic.

White is charged with one count of racketeering, a first degree felony, eight counts of official ,misconduct, a third degree felony, six counts of uttering a forged instrument, a third degree felony, and two counts of paramedic license fraud, a first degree misdemeanor. He was previously employed by the Escambia County Department of Public Safety as chief of operations and a paramedic.

Eddins also thanked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for their “excellence in thoroughly investigating this matter of great public importance.”

Gilley said Escambia County EMS is moving forward.

“I do think we have new leadership that is going in a new direction, working for months to make sure training is correct. The public should not be concerned in that sense,” she said. “Everyone is properly trained.”

Comments

18 Responses to “Four Arrests Made In Escambia County EMS Investigation”

  1. Medic on March 25th, 2020 3:18 pm

    What about the employees that didn’t take the classes, but got the cards? I hope they made them sit thru the classes.

  2. Kevin on March 24th, 2020 11:39 pm

    Its about time. They have been ruining that system for years. Kudos to Dr Edler for stepping up and helping bring down a corrupt good ol boy system.

  3. Not You on March 24th, 2020 10:38 pm

    Simple solution that will save tax payers money: AMR.

  4. fredie wray on March 24th, 2020 9:55 pm

    yep … some folks need to apologize to dr edler for spewing crap about her. turns out, they didn’t know what they were blabbering about.

  5. Reading Comprehension on March 24th, 2020 8:19 pm

    Brandon wrote “It’s great to know some of these clowns are probably still employed with Escambia County Public Safety.”

    Brandon should work on his reading comprehension. The story clearly says if they are still employed or not.

  6. Brandon on March 24th, 2020 7:54 pm

    So why are the Medic that willingly or knowingly had accepted these certifications still have a job? They should be stripped and terminated they lack moral and ethics to be anything in the medical field. It’s great to know some of these clowns are probably still employed with Escambia County Public Safety.

  7. Richard on March 24th, 2020 6:21 pm

    I held a paramedic license from 1982 through 2012. My employer was not an ALS provider. So every two years I had to take a refresher course at PJC. And then pass an ACLS course from the American heart association. Once I had these two certifications. I would mail them to Tallahassee for paramedic recirtifacation .
    I don’t see how an employee of ECEMS did not know that they had not passed these certifications. Even if someone else say that you have the ACLS course. You had to have known you didn’t take the course.

  8. Dee Rowland on March 24th, 2020 6:12 pm

    Janice Gilley has done what she said she would do! She personally helped me when the county permit office overreached by sending code enforcement to my home to give me a cease & desist order for landscaping. Turns out it was nothing more than “good ole boy” politics at its best….county commissioners assisting in bullying. Janice Gilley has my support!

  9. Linda Maher on March 24th, 2020 5:37 pm

    Thank you Dr. Edler. Thank you Janice Gilley.
    I know ’standing your ground’ in this fraud put a target on your back. A lot of prayers were said for you both. Thank you. God bless. One more for the good guys/gals!

  10. Olin Schultz on March 24th, 2020 5:25 pm

    I had the pleasure of knowing Leon Salter all through High School and later in life. It is unfortunate that this has happened but as a friend, I will back him to the end. He has always made me feel at ease around him and I can honestly say that I am proud to call him my friend! Remember NorthEscambia readers, it is innocent until proven guilty! Working in the Law Enforcement family, I could mention several that have dropped the ball but that would only be hearsay! Please understand that he has a family and don’t sling the mud because it may land on you! Prayers go out for all involved!

  11. David Huie Green on March 24th, 2020 4:49 pm

    REGARDING:
    “What does “utter a forged instrument” mean? I’m trying to understand exactly what they did.”

    They covered it with “alleged falsification of official records of the Escambia County Department of Public Safety.” Picture someone dying unless you know how to save her and you falsified having gotten that training. She dies. Your fault.

    Florida Statute 831.02, 831.02 
    Uttering forged instruments.—Whoever utters and publishes as true a false, forged or altered record, deed, instrument or other writing mentioned in s. 831.01 knowing the same to be false, altered, forged or counterfeited, with intent to injure or defraud any person, shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree

    David for honest people

  12. ER RN on March 24th, 2020 4:29 pm

    I think Dr Edler needs a BIG apology from a lot of people in this county for their comments made against or about her. I think she is doing what is exactly needed for our community, to make it a safer and better cared for place. She is not the type to say I told you so but I will for her.

  13. Diane on March 24th, 2020 4:02 pm

    What does “utter a forged instrument” mean? I’m trying to understand exactly what they did. Is it that they didn’t feel like completing the ongoing training courses, and fudged the records?

  14. Melissa Pino on March 24th, 2020 4:00 pm

    It’s important to emphasize that not all of the people under investigation were arrested. Our justice system has already cleared some of the people I advocated for whom I believed to be innocent and needlessly targeted.

    I hope that the media and the public do not make the assumption that because 4 people were arrested, that means 4 people will be found guilty.

    There was always a good possibility that there would be arrests stemming from the investigations. My advocacy has always been for particular individuals, and against a general culture of toxic workplace and broken due process.

    If the County had not purposely kept those 5 harassment complaints in limbo (and kept a 6th from even being submitted), thereby their employees from the right to due process through the Merit System Protection Board, some of this might have been resolved a long time ago.

    I’m relieved to see that it has already been demonstrated by FDLE and the SAO that I was correct about some individuals, and have hope that there are names on this list who will be able to demonstrate themselves to be innocent in a court of law.

    The County needs to be *particularly* supportive of our EMS at this time. This is yet another huge blow to morale at a time when it is already very low. And, it goes without saying, the timing could not have been worse.

  15. Fire Marshal Bill on March 24th, 2020 3:56 pm

    I am not surprised one smidgen. Good ol’ boy b.s. caught up with them… It was bound to be exposed sooner than later. Tax payers deserve honesty, integrity and morals in Emergency Services.

  16. Marcia Sacovitch on March 24th, 2020 3:48 pm

    I’m just deeply saddened for ESC EMS, it’s residents, and everyone involved. I know these individuals, and I have the upmost respect for them. I can’t believe what I’m reading and I pray for quick resolve.

  17. John Doe on March 24th, 2020 3:07 pm

    wow…. just…. wow

  18. MtnDewey on March 24th, 2020 3:01 pm

    ahhhhh Escambia still corrupt….





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