KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – Having already served the longest suspension in Clay County Sheriff’s Office history for driving under the influence last December, a lieutenant with the agency was fired …
KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – Having already served the longest suspension in Clay County Sheriff’s Office history for driving under the influence last December, a lieutenant with the agency was fired Monday after being suspected of being drunk again behind the wheel.
Christopher Allen Coldiron, 48, was arrested by the Florida Highway Patrol on Oct. 15 after a CCSO deputy found Coldiron behind the wheel of his pickup truck after it ran off the road and over a four-foot-high concrete culvert on State Road 21 just north of Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park. The sheriff’s office deputy then requested FHP to investigate after she said the driver showed “indicators of impairment.”
According to FHP’s arrest report, Coldiron refused to submit to field sobriety tests at the scene. He also refused to provide a breath sample. Deputies and troopers said they found several empty and opened alcoholic containers inside his truck. He stumbled several times and his speech was slurred, according to the arrest report.
Saturday morning’s arrest was the second in nine months for Coldiron. He was convicted of DUI in Bradford County after he ran a stop sign and slammed into the side of another vehicle. A judge sentenced him to time served – two days – and he was demoted from commander to lieutenant at the Clay County Sheriff’s Office. That drop in rank also came with a 24% pay cut.
This time, Sheriff Michelle Cook said Coldiron won’t get a third chance.
“In the law enforcement world, when an officer is arrested, we have to allow the criminal investigation to completion,” she said. “He goes through the court system just like any other citizen. He receives his sanctions from the court, which included license suspension and some other stuff. Once that happened, we began our internal investigation. Our internal investigation also found him guilty, and he was given by me the longest suspension in recorded history here at the Clay County Sheriff's Office – a 45-day suspension.”
Coldiron was driving his vehicle, Cook said, and he wasn’t on duty.
“Lt. Coldiron is no longer a member of our agency, and I'm holding him accountable for his actions,” Cook said Monday. “I hope all of us will stop for a moment and wish him the opportunity to recover from these demons that are plaguing him right now. Here's a man who had an over 23-year career with the Clay County Sheriff's Office. And although I do not condone his actions, and he was given a chance. Even though he did take a 45-day suspension, he violated the second chance and so he is no longer a member here.
“I will continue to hold the members of our agency to a higher standard, as we should be.”
Coldiron, who posted bond shortly after the arrest, is scheduled to be arraigned on Nov. 7.