Recently in July, a Floridian police deputy from Pinellas County named Michael Szeliga showed up at a Mothers Against Drink Driving event in Fort Lauderdale to receive an award for over 100 DUI arrests. Congratulations pal.
However, there was a slight problem with Szeliga at the event. He clearly didn’t understand what MADD stood for or the nature of the organisation – despite the fact he was being honoured for his service against drunk drivers – or either chose to completely disregard their message.
We know this because Szeliga showed up to the event completely and utterly loaded from the Jameson’s Irish whiskey that he had been drinking all day.
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To make matters worse, Szeliga had actually ditched some DUI awareness training earlier in the day – citing the fact that he was transferring to detective the week after and so no longer needed the information – to get loaded with two other cop buddies. He returned to his hotel with his two friends after the first break in training and immediately started drinking whiskey cocktails in the pool area. Nothing like kicking back and getting loaded before the MADD awards ceremony huh?
Another one of his friends had bought a bottle of Crown Royal as well as the Jameson’s and the three of them were getting well and truly on it. They spent all day drinking and then headed back to their rooms to get ready for the event when they saw other officers returning from the training day. There are reports at this point that Szeliga was seen wandering around the hotel wasted in his boxer shorts, but he strongly denies these rumours.
Szeliga then headed to the conference, which was first alerted to his state of mind when he staggered into the buffet upon his arrival. He was supposed to receive an award in front of 200 guests, but upon seeing how hammered he was, Gulfport Police Chief Robert Vincent (pictured below) suggested it wasn’t appropriate for him to be in attendance.
This led to an argument between the two which ultimately led to Szeliga insulting Vincent and being exiled to his hotel room for the rest of the event and banned from picking up his award. It was also assumed that Szeliga had driven himself to and from the event, although this hasn’t been confirmed or denied either.Talk about a way to make a good impression huh?
Amazingly, it doesn’t even seem like Szeliga has even really been reprimanded for his completely inappropriate (albeit hilariously ironic) behaviour: he was given one day paid suspension (gee thanks) and forced to write an apology letter to Vincent. He was then transferred to his dream job as a detective in the crime against children unit of Pinellas County PD. It basically couldn’t have gone better for him since the incident.
Although he never received his award, it’s fair to say that bunking off work and getting wasted with his buddies worked out pretty well for Michael Szeliga in the long run – he probably didn’t even want to attend the lame awards ceremony in the first place either. I mean are those things ever actually any fun, especially if you’re not drinking?
I encourage everyone to try such behaviour in the future, although be careful because it might mean that you show up to work without your pants like this female teacher in Oklahoma.