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PBSO Internal Affairs investigator under investigation over secret recordings

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PALM BEACH COUNTY, FLA - “This is like water off a duck's back , I really don't care,” laughed off Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Internal Affairs Investigator, Mark Lewis. 

Lewis is talking about recently recorded phone calls in which he appeared to divulge inside information about PBSO investigative tactics and investigations.

“Whenever we have a bad contractor or a person who attacks one of our judges or the sheriff or the state attorney, that's one of the things I do, I start picking their life apart,” he can be heard saying in one of a series of recorded phone calls now posted on a Russian website.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's veteran law enforcement officer turned part-time IA investigator is now the center of a full time internal investigation, after being heard over the phone revealing a number of investigative details to a woman he's never met.

“You would be surprised what you can find off phone and GPS’s,” he can be heard saying in one conversation.

Lewis says the woman who identified herself as “Jessica” claimed to live in New York and found him online through his construction company, which he had on the side. 

Over a few days the chats became more frequent, personal and, seemingly, far more detailed. 

The seasoned law enforcement officer sounded smitten and eager to share secret tactics. In one call, he described how he and a PBSO contracted social media expert get into people’s social media accounts.

“We’ve in the past, especially in criminal cases, we’ve created false communities,” he said.

“I was going to see what kind of information I can get,” Lewis now says in defense of the calls, he never gave consent to be taped.  Lewis claims he suspected early-on the call was a set up.

“The conversation real quick started going sexual. I thought you called me about a house now the next day your wanting to be my girlfriend, this isn't right,” he said.

Lewis believes “Jessica” was really Mark Dougan, a former PBSO deputy being sued by the sheriff's office over a website he founded, pbsotalk.com.  The website is a digital forum for people to post critical rants about PBSO.

“We said this, let's just play along, see if what we can do and if we can get some information,” said Lewis in response to why he divulged investigative information, including PBSO's investigation into Dougan and the fact that the FBI has been investigating Dougan too.

Dougan, who says he left town for a while because of threats, recently confirmed to the Contact 5 Investigators he was behind the conversations but during a phone interview Wednesday morning Dougan refused to go any further.

“I am not going to confirm nor deny who Jessica might be.  I'm not going to divulge that information," he said.

“He has an ax to grind with me, no doubt,” said Lewis who has been involved in a criminal investigation involving Dugan.

It's the kind of back and forth typically made for tabloid headlines but is now attracting mainstream media for what happens next.

Since Lewis never consented to these calls being recorded, whoever taped the conversations could face wiretapping charges, a federal crime.

To hear the recordings click here.

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