Crime

FDLE agent won’t face mortgage fraud charge; Internal investigation still ongoing

Agent Kathy Smith won't be charged.
Agent Kathy Smith won't be charged.

The Monroe County State Attorney’s Office won’t seek criminal charges against Kathy Smith, a Key West-based Florida Department of Law Enforcement agent who has been suspended with pay since November 2014 following allegations of mortgage fraud.

Kathy Smith divorced former Key West police officer Scott Smith in 2009, but allegedly signed bank mortgage papers with him as a still married couple in 2010.

Assistant State Attorney Mark Wilson wrote in a note to an FDLE inspector that the limitation periods for the offenses, two years for perjury and three years for mortgage fraud, have passed. 

“Therefore, even if these statements were criminal in nature at the time they were made, they cannot form the basis for a criminal prosecution now,” Wilson wrote.

As a result of the State Attorney’s Office not pressing charges, FDLE closed its criminal investigation on Kathy Smith June 4. However, FDLE spokeswoman Samantha Andrews said the internal affairs investigation is still active. 

“I don’t have a timetable,” Andrews said of when the latter investigation would be completed. 

Kathy Smith, who makes $93,634 annually, led the agency’s investigation into the Key West Police Department's in-custody death of Michigan tourist Charles Eimers in 2013.

Police pulled the 61-year-old over at a North Roosevelt Boulevard traffic stop on Thanksgiving 2013. The retired automotive worker then fled the stop and led officers on a chase through Old Town to South Beach, where he was taken into custody on the sand. 

Eimers died Dec. 4, 2013, at Lower Keys Medical Center.

While both FDLE and a grand jury reviewed the case and returned no indictments or charges, the Eimers family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city and several police officers last year, eventually agreeing to settle with the city’s insurance carrier, Preferred Governmental Insurance Trust, for $900,000 this past January. 

However, in April, the Justice Department confirmed in a letter to Citizen Review Board Chairman Michael Behrend that it is investigating whether the Key West Police Department violated Eimers’ federal civil rights. 

Scott Smith, then still a member of the department, played a role in the investigation of Eimers' death, which was viewed by some as an apparent conflict of interest for Kathy Smith. FDLE said that wasn’t the case.

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