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$2 Million Verdict: Who Will Pay?

A guilty verdict and a $2 million judgment against several Jefferson County deputies is the talk of the town.

A jury found the deputies guilty of violating the McCloud family's civil rights by strip searching the mother and daughter and detaining the family for four hours while they searched fruitlessly for drugs.

The jury's verdict came after three days of deliberations.

Two current and three former Jefferson County deputies are guilty of violating the McCloud family's civil rights, with a roadside strip search and a four hour ordeal.

Sheriff David Hobbs, who took office years after the incident, says he's disappointed in the verdict but not surprised. Two of the five deputies found guilty in this case still work for his department, and the sheriff says Gerald Knecht and William Hayes will keep their jobs.

The Sheriff's Department has $3.2 million in coverage with the Florida Sheriff's Self Insurance Fund.

Claims manager Dan Condon says it's too early to tell if all of the damages and legal fees will be covered in this case or if county taxpayers will have to foot some of the bill.

Commissioners are likely to discuss it at next Thursday's county commission meeting.


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