ORLANDO, Fla. (WFLA) — Two Florida deputies have been disciplined for leaking information about Bob Saget’s death at an Orlando hotel before his family was notified, according to administrative records.
An administrative investigation report from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said two deputies, including one who was called to respond to the Ritz-Carlton in Orlando on Jan. 9, shared news of Saget’s death with friends and family members who then posted about it on social media. The report, obtained by WFLA’s affiliate WESH, identified the two disciplined deputies as Emiliano Silva and Steven Reed.
The internal investigation focused on a tweet posted at 4:52 p.m. that day from Deputy Silva’s brother that said, “Rip Bob Saget,” as well as a response from another user who said he “heard something from a police friend.”
According to the report, Deputy Silva was listed as on-scene at the Ritz-Carlton at 4:22 p.m., then texted his brother around 4:40 p.m. telling him Saget had died. Silva’s brother posted the tweet about the actor’s death at 4:52, the report said, but deleted it about 20 minutes at Deputy Silva’s request.
Around the same time the tweet from Deputy Silva’s brother was posted, the report from the sheriff’s office said Deputy Reed – who was off-duty at the time – texted two of his neighbors saying he had heard about Saget’s death.
The sheriff’s office said one of the people in the text conversation saw the tweet from Deputy Silva’s brother and responded to it at 5:05 p.m., noting that he had “heard something from a police friend.” The report said Deputy Reed’s neighbor responded to Deputy Silva’s brother again on Twitter at 5:26 saying, “my buddy is an Orlando Sheriff and is filling me in as he hears.”
The report noted that Saget’s wife was still trying to get information about her husband’s condition at 5:44 p.m.
During the internal investigation, a corporal confirmed “Mr. Saget’s next of kin had not been notified by law enforcement when [the corporal] became aware of the public disclosure of Mr. Saget’s death.”
The investigation report released by the sheriff’s office determined that “Deputy Silva willfully informed his brother… that Mr. Saget was deceased” without authorization. After the tweet from his brother was posted, the sheriff’s office said, “this resulted in an influx of media inquiries at a time when Mr. Saget’s next-of-kin had not been notified.”
According to the report, the investigation also determined Deputy Reed informed two people of Saget’s death, before the comedian’s family members had been notified, without authorization.
The report did not specify what disciplinary actions would be taken.