ORLANDO — Political consultant Doug Guetzloe, host of The Guetzloe Report radio show, will likely qualify for work release as part of his 60 day jail sentence, and he can probably work for himself at the Phoenix Network studio in downtown Orlando, the spokesman for the Orange County jail said on Friday.
Allen Moore, public information officer for Orange County Corrections, said Guetzloe would qualify for work release if he meets the criteria set out in Orange County Chief Court Judge Jeffrey Arnold’s administrative order. In his order upholding Guetzloe’s 60-day sentence, the judge wrote that the court did not object to his serving part of the sentence on work release.
Although Geutzloe is in the jail for two months, Moore said the length of an inmate’s sentence doesn’t necessarily dictate whether that inmate qualifies for work release.
“No …. in most cases,” Moore wrote in an email to Freeline Media Orlando. “However, there is an exception. In the case of a Corrections decision to send (an inmate) to work release, absent a comment by the court, one-third of the sentence must be served in jail before going to work release.”
In Guetzloe’s case, Moore wrote, “The judge indicated no objection to being assigned to work release, if qualified. Therefore, the one-third rule doesn’t apply. He is currently being processed and baring any unforeseen circumstances he should be transferred to work release.”
At the moment, Moore said, there are beds available at the Orlando area work release center for inmates, so Guetzloe is not likely to have to wait for one opening up before he gets transferred.
“The work release center is not at capacity due to the criteria or restrictions set by the court’s administrative order,” Moore said. “The center is rarely at its 308 bed capacity.”
Guetzloe founded The Phoenix Network and now operates the studio at Hovey Court in downtown Orlando that carries The Guetzloe Report, The Freeline Media Hour, Drew Kesse’s “Evolution of a Revolution” show and other programs. Guetzloe can most likely return to the studio while he’s on work release, Moore said.
“There is a review that would permit self-employment subject to review by Work Release administration,” Moore said. “Each is on a case-by-case basis. In Guetzloe case, that review hasn’t occurred.”
Inmates can spend 14 hours per day on work release, depending on “the requirement of the employer or job site,” Moore said. “It is determined on a job-by-job basis. Many Work Release inmates typically have 12 hour permissions — again, based on the needs of the job site.”
Before Guetzloe or any other inmate would get onto work release, there is a five-to-seven day orientation period.
This case dates back to 2006. Guetzloe was charged with a first degree misdemeanor for sending out a political mailer during a Winter Park mayoral election. He did not include the term ‘paid electioneering communication’ on it, as required by Florida law.
In November 2006, Guetzloe pleaded no contest to 14 misdemeanor counts under state election laws, and Judge Arnold sentenced him to 60 days in jail. Guetzloe appealed, but the Florida Supreme Court ruled that he could be prosecuted for his failure to include ‘paid electioneering communication’ on the mail out.
On Wednesday, Judge Arnold ordered Guetzloe to report to the Orange County jail by noon that day, and imposed a $1,000 fine on the political consultant, and $50 in court costs. The judge also denied a motion by Guetzloe’s attorney, Fred O’Neal, to allow Guetzloe to be released on bail or to let him serve his sentence under home confinement.
Guetzloe is in protective custody at the jail because he’s well known in the community, Moore said. He has turned down all media requests for interviews.
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