ST. PETERSBURG — A city police officer has been suspended for 60 days after he got into a wreck with a Pasco County sheriff’s undercover vehicle that his wife, then a Pasco deputy, was supposed to be driving, and then lied about it, according to a memorandum issued Thursday by Interim Chief of Police Dave DeKay.
Officer Kevin Haskins, 37, had dropped off his wife, Jessica Haskins, at a Home Depot in New Port Richey on Jan. 19, 2013, while he went to look for a parking space for her vehicle, leased by the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, the memorandum says.
Haskins called his wife and, after she showed up, the two spoke privately, the summary says. According to Shurtleff, Kevin Haskins asked Shurtleff if she were willing to say Jessica Haskins was driving, rather than Kevin, as she would get into trouble otherwise, the summary says.
Later, Jessica Haskins would claim she had the conversation with Shurtleff, in an apparent effort to protect her husband’s job.
Shurtleff waited with Jessica for nearly two hours before Pasco sheriff’s deputies arrived, and they never spoke to Shurtleff to get her input, the summary says. Sheriff’s Cpl. John Spicuglia gave Shurtleff a crash report, and she left.
When Shurtleff took her car for repairs, she discovered the sheriff’s office was paying only for half of the damage, as Shurtleff was deemed half responsible for the crash, the case summary says.
Shurtleff looked into the matter and discovered Jessica Haskins claimed Shurtleff’s car was moving at the time of the collision. Shurtleff brought the matter up with the sheriff’s office and told deputies Kevin Haskins was the one driving, not Jessica Haskins.
The sheriff’s office began an investigation, during which Jessica Haskins, who was working as a vice and narcotics detective, resigned on March 28, 2013 instead of being fired.
In December, St. Petersburg police learned of Haskins’ deception after his wife applied for a job with the agency. Investigators did a background check, and found Kevin Haskins’ potential involvement in the Home Depot wreck.
“Officer Haskins stated his wife had been dealing with a number of personal issues, and he could see she was afraid she would get in trouble for allowing him to operate her work vehicle,” the summary says. “Officer Haskins said he was trying to protect his wife, and it was then that he suggested the idea to her that they report the incident as her driving.”
Kevin Haskins has been with the St. Petersburg police department since 2011.