Jail worker arrested on charges of using his cellphone at work and faking records

Oreth Smith
Oreth Smith

A Broward County detention deputy is facing charges of using his cellphone at work and falsifying documents to cover it up.

Oreth Smith, a nearly 10-year veteran, was suspended without pay and arrested on charges of bringing contraband into the detention facility and official misconduct.

The investigation into Smith’s conduct was sparked by an inmate complaining that Smith was “constantly” on his phone and it distracted him from his work, according to an arrest affidavit.

Officials said Smith wasn’t authorized to bring his cellphone to his desk at the housing unit of the Joseph V. Conte facility, which mostly houses inmates awaiting trial. He was hit with a contraband charge for the phone, as well as for a pizza investigators said he shared with inmates.

BSO deputies investigated in July and found Smith sat at his desk on his phone instead of completing physical site checks, cell inspections or headcounts. Deputies said Smith filled out the jail information forms as if he’d done the checks.

“In summation, throughout Deputy Smith’s eight hour shift, he spent the majority of the time sitting at the desk and often on the desk phone or his cellular phone,” officials wrote in the affidavit.

Alex Harris: 305-376-5005, @harrisalexc