Prosecutor's personnel file was clean
Now-former asst. state attorney accused of video voyeurism
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A state prosecutor being investigated after a woman claimed he video recorded her as she was getting undressed in a Gainesville tanning salon had no major complaints or issues in his career at the State Attorney's Office, according to his personnel file.
William Ezzell submitted his resignation letter Tuesday after working at the office full-time since 2002. He had been making $63,399 a year.
"I wish everyone well as I look forward to a future time and different circumstances which might allow me to resume serving in a similar position," Ezzell wrote in his resignation. ""My wife and I wish to express to you (State Attorney Bill Cervone) our deepest gratitude for your support and counsel over the last fifteen years."
Ezzell was one of the top prosecutors in the State Attorney's Office, recently credited with helping convict Pedro Bravo for killing a University of Florida student.
His employment file is filled with praise and accolades for his work enforcing the law. There was only one complaint, from a convicted felon, which the Florida Bar cleared Ezzell of any wrongdoing.
But the tables have turned on the lawyer, as he's now accused of secretly recording a 51-year-old woman.
She claims it happened at a Newberry Road Tan USA. She was getting undressed when she looked up and saw a black cellphone with the light on.
"She was aware of her surroundings," Gainesville police spokesman Officer Ben Tobias said. "She knew that while she was tanning there still was a gap in the very top. So she was scanning her surroundings. She noticed this, and immediately when she noticed it she spoke up."
Detectives said the woman told the manager, who called 911. The man, identified as then-Assistant State Attorney Ezzell, left before officers arrived, but they were able to track him down at his home.
"We worked with the State Attorney's Office, we worked with Mr. Ezzell, and our investigation has included that we are filing a sworn complaint, recommending charges of video voyeurism," Tobias said.
The case has been passed on to a neighboring State Attorney's Office, which will determine if Ezzell should be arrested on a charge of third-degree felony.
The allegations have some tanning bed users worried about their privacy.
"I would say that it is very disturbing, and I hope that something gets done about that," said Jenna Kohlbrand, a UF student who visits tanning salons.
Ezzell has not answered his phone or returned calls for comment.
The manager of Tan USA released a statement, which reads: "Tan USA has been in business in Gainesville for over 27 years and has maintained an impeccable record of service during that time. We take the privacy of our clients very seriously. We are in shock along with the rest of the city to learn that our District State Attorney, Mr. Ezzell, could have committed a crime of this nature and we are assisting the Police Department in every way possible."
A spokesman for the 8th Circuit State Attorney's Office said it too is cooperating with the investigation, but it is letting the other circuit handle it.
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