Clay County Sheriff facing felony charge after sex scandal investigation (but still running for reelection)
Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels is under pressure. Image via A.G. Gancarski.

Darryl Daniels
He has no intentions to resign, and he is on the ballot Tuesday in what is a six-way Republican primary,

Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels has turned himself in to authorities, reports WJXT, on charges related to tampering with evidence, a felony, and false statements to officers investigating claims of abuse of power in an official capacity, both misdemeanors.

The action follows an ultimatum issued by a special prosecutor earlier on Thursday, telling Daniels he could either resign and never again seek public office or be arrested.

Daniels said he has no intention to resign, and he is on the ballot Tuesday in what is a six-way Republican primary, thus continuing an improbable trajectory of events around the first-term lawman.

For more than a year, Daniels has been under investigation over claims he compelled subordinates to carry out a false arrest of a woman with whom the Sheriff was having an affair. At all times he continued to serve in office, even as questions mounted.

As the investigation went forward, “major concerns” were expressed by the region’s leading legislators, Sen. Rob Bradley and Rep. Travis Cummings, both from Clay County

Yet Gov. Ron DeSantis stayed mum on the matter and allowed Daniels to remain in office.

As the probe slogged forward, a series of challengers emerged, filing to run against him in Tuesday’s primary. They sensed a vulnerability to exploit.

Daniels has faced fundraising challenges, especially in recent weeks.

The Sheriff, third in the fundraising derby with $90,757 raised through the end of July, lags behind Atlantic Beach Police Chief Michelle Cook, who has raised $164,975 and Mike Taylor, who raised $111,098.

However, he has used the power of incumbency and a knack for drawing headlines to create earned media moments to overcome the cash crunch.

As July began, the first-term Republican Sheriff brooked controversy with a challenge to Black Lives Matter protesters who may make their way to normally sleepy Clay County. He said he would deputize lawful gun owners.

“Somebody has to step up in front of the camera and say ‘enough is enough,’” said Daniels, vowing that “if we can’t handle you …. I’ll make special deputies of every lawful gun owner in this county.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at [email protected]cs.com


4 comments

  • Frankie M.

    August 13, 2020 at 7:37 pm

    Yay….more earned media! I for one hope he wins. This is like charging Hiliary with a crime the day before the election. If the powers that be had a real case they would have brought it a long time ago. I was hoping they’d slap the cuffs on next Wednesday after his victory. Too little too late.

  • Beth

    August 13, 2020 at 8:12 pm

    I’m not sure how that you could take votes away from someone even if they’ve been arrested it’s my understanding with the law that a man or woman is innocent until proven guilty he’s only been arrested. And the rest that includes a felony conviction and he’s given a chance to resign and not be charged I’ll be arrested. Something stinks in Denmark. I for one living Clay County and have for almost 30 years and I will tell you I am not a Republican but I am very proud to say he has done an excellent job in Clay County. I still don’t understand how you can take votes away from him until he’s proven guilty in a court of law that’s a question I will be looking into. What is accused of doing has nothing to do with the job that he did for Clay County it’s amazing to me how this comes about at the last minute. I do think there should be a shake-up in the Sheriff’s Department and all other offices starting with the governor of the state of Florida all the way down but that’s my opinion. Truthfully I hope he beats it and I would be proud to stand next to him I’d be proud to tell him so and I really don’t care what other people have to say

  • Matt

    August 14, 2020 at 2:44 pm

    Desantis has removed Democrats from office in Broward and Palm Beach (including Sheriff Israel). The fact that Sheriff Daniel is allowed to remain in office after felony charges tells us all everything we need to know about Desantis.

  • Frankie M.

    August 14, 2020 at 9:25 pm

    What happened to innocent til proven guilty? We all know Trump is guilty as hell but he’s still in office.

Comments are closed.


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