Florida sheriff arrested following sex scandal

Remigio Civitarese
Agosto 16, 2020

To avoid a conflict of interest, DeSantis had assigned the case to the State Attorney's Office in Ocala, which does not handle Clay County or Jacksonville cases.

Daniels was elected sheriff in November 2016 to serve a four-year term, according to WTLV. However, his staff said they didn't feel like there was enough evidence to warrant the arrest.

The arrest comes after a year-long internal investigation from when Daniels worked as a jails director at the Jacksonville Sheriff's office.

State Attorney Melissa Nelson requested the Florida Department of Law Enforcement open an investigation into this sex scandal, which was then reassigned to special prosecutor Brad King, WTLV confirms.

Just hours after his release from jail, an indignant Daniels, still wearing his sheriff's badge over his breast pocket, released a videotaped statement maintaining his innocence and questioning the timing and circumstances of his arrest. "That has nothing to do with me as a sheriff", he said.

Daniels was planning to run for re-election.

Daniels insinuated that the State Attorney's Office was pursuing an "ulterior motive" to impact the primary election when prosecutors chose to bring the charges against him on Thursday.

"The question that I want you to ask yourself, and I don't have the answer to it, is this: Why today?"

Daniels posted a video on the official sheriff's office YouTube channel earlier Friday calling the arrest "dirty politics".

"The things that I've done in my personal life, some of those things were wrong; and some things, most recently, were very wrong". 'I've never tolerated being bullied.

Daniels was immediately suspended from the public office, according to the executive order. Smith used to work under Daniels and was having an affair with her boss for six years.

She told officers that she was pregnant, but would not say if Daniels was the father. The sheriff was also hit with a misdemeanor charge for knowingly giving false information to law enforcement. At the conclusion of the investigation, having been found guilty of multiple violations, she was recommended for termination but instead resigned. He left, and she began following him; Daniels contacted his wife to tell her, so she began following Smith. During his time in the position, he had an affair with one of the correction officers and ordered his staff to arrest her in May 2019 on stalking charges.

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