NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — Every night around 7, a Pasco County Sheriff’s deputy pulls up to a gated mansion in a patrol cruiser and parks, watching and waiting for six hours until another deputy arrives.

Thousands of cars whiz by along the stretch of State Road 54 before the second deputy pulls away at 7 a.m., their drivers left to wonder whether they just flew by a speed trap.

But these deputies are strictly guardians, working 12 hours nightly for Lynnda Speer. She is the widow of Roy Speer, the billionaire co-founder of the Home Shopping Network whose final years passed in a haze of sex, greed and betrayal as his fortune was drained by his stockbroker-lover.

Lynnda Speer, 75, likes the feeling of safety she gets from her unusual arrangement with the sheriff’s office, said her attorney Guy Burns.

“There was no particular event,” Burns said. “She is just a person with some amount of wealth who wants to have security.”

A deputy has parked outside the Speer home since August 2014, according to Pasco County Sheriff’s Office records. By the end of this year, Speer will have paid the county about $750,000 for the service.

Law enforcement agencies around allow off-duty officers to provide protection for a variety of purposes – big funerals, parades, sporting events, construction projects. In return, their employers receive a fee – generally $40 an hour in Pasco County, most of it passed on to the deputies and the rest for expenses such as equipment and gas.

But in all of Pasco, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, only one customer has signed on for nightly sentinel duty.

Lynnda Speer was awarded a $34 million settlement in 2016 from Morgan Stanley, the firm that – according to a federal arbitration panel ruling – knowingly allowed its star broker to run wild with the account of her lover Roy Speer.

“She likes us there for security purposes,” said Pasco County Detective Anthony Cardillo. “She owns a big piece of property and it’s become a very busy area, so she likes it, to sleep better at night.”

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