Initially, Smythe claimed to have witnessed a hit-and-run involving the bear but further investigation showed the bear had been shot.
Smythe, 42, was employed as a conservation law enforcement officer for Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) from Dec. 12, 2003 to Sept. 10, 2007. He also worked part-time for the Wakulla Sheriff’s Department for an unspecified period beginning May 29, 2009, but a spokesperson for human resources said he has not been employed there for some time.
Smythe is president of a registered LLC, Clear Cut Solutions, that clears land and performs tree surgery.
On April 10 at 2:30 a.m., Franklin County sheriff’s deputies Jonathan Riley and Robert Hogan and Carrabelle Police Office Andy Pace were called to 2522 Palmetto Terrace, the residence of Albert Edward Smythe II, to investigate possible gunfire reported by a neighbor, James Schumacher
Schumacher said he saw a man he did not know with dark hair driving a white truck and a bear lying in the roadway. He said the man told him that somebody had hit a bear and fled the scene and that he had already called the police. The man told Schumacher to leave the area.