Lauderhill has among the highest crime rates in Broward County. In fact, even its cops have regularly been accused of doing illegal things. Back in 2010, an officer was indicted for mortgage fraud. In 2016, a federal judge awarded two women who were sexually assaulted by two on-duty officers $6.2 million in damages. And in 2011, Officer Eli Rodgers shot himself in the head as investigators were preparing to arrest him for official misconduct and falsifying official records.
So it might have seemed like no big deal when Jason Scott Mahle, a Lauderhill Police sergeant, was arrested in January for soliciting a prostitute and offering to pay her $200 for sex. But city records show Mahle, who has been placed on administrative leave, had been accused of wrongdoing before.
Records going back eight years document a history of conduct inquiries into Mahle's work. Though he has been cleared in all of them, the reports raise questions about his behavior.
In October 2011, the officer shot and killed a pit bull in response to a loose dog call. Mahle, a hunter and Army veteran, said in a sworn statement, “I was in fear that I would be attacked and once they latch on, it’s hard to get them off.” An administrative investigation filed by the then Chief of Police Andrew Smalling exonerated Mahle.
A July 2015 child custody issue led to one party alleging that Mahle “called him and threatened him for no reason.” The caller said Mahle threatened to “put a warrant out for him,” and “make him his project.” The complainant had conflict with several officers surrounding the event, and Lauderhill police’s Professional Standards Board concluded there was “no evidence that would substantiate that Officer Mahle violated policy.”
In July 2017, a woman who said she was a Broward Sheriff's Office regional communications officer filed a six-page misconduct complaint against Mahle and other officers following a child custody issue.
According to the report, the woman was upset about the way she was being treated by an Officer Richard Clarke. She stated that when she attempted to discuss the situation with Mahle, a supervisor, he blamed the complainant for the conflict, saying, “You must have started with Officer Clarke first to make him act that way.”
The complainant further stated that Mahle told her he would “take her to jail, had an attitude, and also asked where she worked.” The Code of Conduct review looked into the incident and recommended that “No Further Action be taken.”
In June 2018, an Internal Affairs investigation was opened against Mahle for code of conduct, standard of conduct, and supervisor failure to review a report. The findings show that both Mahle and a subordinate officer failed to complete the proper reports after the subordinate officer used “some force” to restrain a violent subject. Deputy Chief of Police Allen Siegel recommended that this be noted in their personnel files.
In October 2018, another code of conduct complaint was filed against Mahle. Details of that are unclear, but records indicate no action was taken against him.
This past January 12, Mahle was arrested in St. Petersburg for violation of Florida State Statute 796.07, which prohibits prostitution and related acts. Public records show that after being read his rights, Mahle admitted to soliciting a prostitute in person after contacting her through an online ad.
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Mahle, who is married, admitted to agreeing to pay the prostitute $200 after he inquired about oral sex, anal sex and the “girlfriend experience,” police records show.
The Lauderhill Police Dept. confirmed on January 22 that Mahle had been “placed on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of an internal affairs investigation."
The January 2019 arrest for solicitation of prostitution is a second degree misdemeanor. On January 22, subsequent to admitting guilt to the arresting officer, Mahle submitted a written plea of not guilty through his attorney Robert C. Bushel. Buschel did not respond to a request for comment.
The case is scheduled for arraignment on February 18 at the Pinellas County Justice Center.