Marion Co. Sheriff Chris Blair charged with perjury, removed from office

marion county sheriff background

Marion County Sheriff Chris Blair has been arrested for felony perjury and removed from office.

Gov. Rick Scott announced Friday that he was suspending Blair from office immediately and appointing Emery Gainey immediately to replace him as Marion County sheriff.

On Thursday, a Marion County grand jury indicted Blair on two counts of perjury and one count of official misconduct for sworn testimony and written statements he made in a grand jury investigation of his deputies for using excessive force in making arrests.

He was charged by the state attorney’s office and arrested Friday.

All three charges are third-degree felonies.

Blair was elected sheriff in Marion County in 2012 and has served a career of more than 35 years in Marion County law enforcement.

Gainey, 57, of Tallahassee, was Director of Law Enforcement Relations, Victim Services and Criminal Justice Programs for the Florida Office of the Attorney General since 2007.

He previously acted as the Chief of Staff for the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and was with the Sheriff’s office for more than 25 years since beginning his law enforcement career as a uniform patrol deputy in 1982.

Gainey received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and also graduated from the FBI National Academy. He will serve as the as Marion County Interim Sheriff until the election of a new Sheriff in November, at which point he will return to the Attorney General’s Office.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected].


  • Amber Tuttle

    May 21, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    Sometimes, having authority get’s to the ego of these men and women, (serve and protect) ?? Not in all case’s obviously! Everyday citizen’s are mistreated by police and are left with not being able to defend themselves in fear of being shot. This is a shame however, I’m very happy to see it is being handled responsibly.

  • Yadja

    May 25, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    Not news for those of us living in Marion County. The police here beat people, lie on the stand, lie on their reports and the judges and the state attorney’s all in Kahoots.

    It will take a huge effort to get all the people who know to come forward but if a special team put together they would get an ear full.

    I contacted the new sheriffs office to report a case of an officer lying under oath and thought I was getting somewhere until the person who contacted me about my evidence was a “Deputy”, to say I was surprised is an understatement. This deputy intimidated me, knew who the officer was and it was all about me and not here. So called the new sheriff, spoke with his secretary and said sorry can’t do it, retaliation is big out here.

    This will continue until special teams brought in to take the stories and find the truth.

    Marion county filthy.

Comments are closed.


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