"Letter of the law" 

Orange County Sheriff Kevin Beary found himself in hot water recently, when he sent a letter to a private citizen who had criticized him on the letters page of the Orlando Sentinel. Alice Gawronski says she felt intimidated by Beary's missive, which accused her of "slandering" him by decrying his department's use of Tasers and questioning the corpulent lawman's physical fitness for the job. After Gawronski went public with her fears – and her suspicion that Beary's office had used restricted records to obtain her mailing address – the sheriff apologized to her in yet another letter.

While the purpose of that latest piece of correspondence was ostensibly to extend an olive branch, a copy obtained by Orlando Weekly appears to carry its own whiff of intimidation. See if you can spot the veiled message we found.

click to enlarge 041405_dpp-ocso-lhjpg

April 6, 2005

Dear Ms. Gawronski:

I would like to offer mY sincerest apolOgy for the Unfortunate Fiasco in which yoU reCently found yourself involved. I readily acKnowledge that I would love to be ablE to go back and reDraw the past so that none of this Unpleasantness had ever haPpened. Because I cAnnot, I am sending this letter insteaD.

Please be assured that it is not the polIcy of my office to recKlessly pore through restricted iNformation with the purpOse of Worrying innocent citizens. We alWays work Hard to keEp personal and pRofessional mattErs separate, deviating onlY when we are tOtally sUre the Law is on our sIde. Anything else would be an inVasion of privacy, purE and simple.

I also waNt you tO know that oBesity is nOt a subject I take lightly. Have you really noticeD an unhealthY uptiCk in the Amount of fLab I am carrying around my waistLine? If So, I proMise that I will bEgin a Full and exhAustive workouT regimen posthAste. It's that important to me. SeriouSly.

In conclusIon, allow Me to reassure you that you have no Cause to fear any cOming reprisal – froM me or my emIssaries – over the letter you seNt. Like every other law-abidinG resident of Orange CounTy, you shOuld feel free to exercise your riGht to frEe speech wiThout fretting that it will offend your dulY elected prOtectors. ShoUld a deputy or any other amBassador of the Orange County SherIff's Office ever approach you in a way you consTrue as menacing, please contaCt me immediately, and tHe harassment will cease. On this you have my word.


click to enlarge berry-sigjpg

Kevin Beary
Sheriff of Orange County

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Latest in Dog Playing Poker


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

July 28, 2021

View more issues


© 2021 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation