Veteran deputy fired after inappropriate interactions with jail inmates, records show

ST. LUCIE COUNTY – A veteran St. Lucie County sheriff’s detention deputy was fired after an internal investigation determined he violated several policies, including committing a felony, in his interaction with some inmates, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Deputy Giuseppe Difilippi, who worked 14 years with the Sheriff’s Office after 20 years of corrections experience in New York, came under review in June after a report of an “inappropriate relationship” with an inmate, recently-released records state.

Investigators learned of discrepancies in his treatment of some female inmates, determining he wasn’t following rules “governing the care, custody, and control of inmates, specifically female inmates,” records show.

One female inmate wrote a letter alleging Difilippi showed favoritism.

Some of the improper behavior included passing some items between inmates, interacting with female inmates numerous times and passing notes between female inmates.

Difilippi loaned a female inmate a highlighter so she could make a birthday card and she had it for about two hours. Investigators determined he “did a poor job at security checks and headcounts,” records show.

At one point, he appeared to hug an inmate. Difilippi said he put his arm around her, but didn’t touch her.

“The video clearly depicts differently,” records show.

The inmate said Difilippi touched her, but declined to call it a hug.

Some female inmates indicated female inmates would take off clothing when Difilippi worked as a means to “entice him,” but Difilippi said that didn’t happen.

Difilippi said he’s passed notes before, but typically read them first. He said he took one note home because he forgot to pass it, and thought it could be at his home.

Difilippi’s actions are not allowed by a state law regarding introduction, removal, or possession of contraband, records show. The internal probe found “sufficient evidence to convict” Difilippi of the felony charge.

The internal affairs investigation found he “lost his objectivity when dealing with female inmates and it clearly affected his job performance and decision-making abilities.”

Difilippi was found to have violated a number of sheriff’s policies, including willful neglect of official duties, association with criminals, commission of felony and conduct unbecoming.

He was fired, according to the Sheriff's Office this week.

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This article originally appeared on Treasure Coast Newspapers: St. Lucie County sheriff's deputy fired after internal affairs probe