Former Gadsden Sheriff's Office Captain Sentenced

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April 8, 2015
By Julie Montanaro

A former Gadsden County Sheriff's Captain is sentenced to two and half years in prison.

A federal judge announced the sentence this afternoon and told Jim Corder, "No man stands above the law."

Jim Corder didn't have any comment as he left the federal courthouse, but he broke down in tears minutes earlier when he addressed the judge.

"I am so disgusted with myself," he said. "I take full responsibility."

"I deserve to be punished," Corder told the judge. "I have betrayed my career."

Corder was found guilty in January of stealing more than $1700 from a man he was arresting and then lying to investigators about it.

A pre-sentence investigation suggested Corder serve 15 to 21 months in prison.

Corder's attorney argued for less than that citing Corder's lengthy law enforcement career and the risk a former law enforcement officer faces behind bars.

The judge, however, opted for a harsher sentence saying Corder's actions shake the faith and confidence the community has in law enforcement and undermines their ability to do their job.

He ordered Corder to surrender to begin serving his sentence June 1st, just days after his daughter's high school graduation.

That 30 month sentence will be followed by a year of supervised release.

Corder was fired from the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office in October 2013 soon after the allegations surfaced about the man's missing money and inappropriate text messages Corder sent to his wife.

Here's what Gadsden County Sheriff Morris Young had to say about Corder's sentencing today:

"From the inception of this case our office worked to facilitate a thorough and fair investigation of the facts. As Sheriff, I hold those within my administration to high standards and now that the judicial process has been completed we will continue to move forward as an organization accountable to a community."

April 8, 2015
By Julie Montanaro

Former Gadsden County Sheriff's Captain Jim Corder has been sentenced to 30 months in federal prison.

We will bring you more information as it becomes available.

January 30, 2015

Statement from Gadsden County Sheriff Morris Young:

"As Sheriff, it is my responsibility to ensure the safety of our community which includes holding those within my administration to higher standards. When we were notified of the complaint against Jim Corder; we immediately complied with the State. This is an unfortunate situation. However, transparency is one of the cornerstones of my administration and now the judicial process has taken its course. My thoughts and prayers are with both families."

By James Buechele
January 29, 2014 11:10 p.m

"I want to commend the FBI the FDLE and [U.S. Attorney's Office] for getting the conviction," said Carol Luke, mother of William Easterwood.

Luke says she's happy the ordeal is over and thankful for the outcome of the case.

"Just up and down with emotions you're just not sure of the outcome and all the accusations of people and just I'm really pleased with the outcome."

By Julie Montanaro
January 29, 2014

A former Captain with the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office has been convicted in federal court.

According to court documents, Corder was accused of taking nearly 18-hundred dollars in cash from a man he was arresting and then lying about it when questioned by the FBI.

The alleged incident happened at a home near Quincy in July 2013.

Prosecutors argued Corder took the money and never turned it over as evidence or forfeiture.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says a jury found Corder guilty of obstruction of justice, making false statements and more.

His sentencing is set for April 8th.

By Julie Montanaro
September 22, 2014

A former Gadsden County Sheriff's Office Captain was indicted last week by a federal grand jury.

According to the indictment, Jim Corder is accused of stealing $1785 from arrestee William Easterwood in July 2013 and accused of making false statements FDLE and FBI agents investigating the case.

BY Julie Montanaro
October 18, 2013

A captain at the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office has been fired in connection with a series of inappropriate text messages.

Two other deputies are now on leave as the investigation widens.

Captain Jim Corder - a nearly 20 year veteran at the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office - was fired Thursday.

It comes in the wake of a complaint from an inmate's family that he sent a series of inappropriate text messages to her while she was out on community control.

"We felt there was inappropriate actions by a captain in the sheriff's office so we relieved him of his position," MAJ Shawn Wood said.

"I don't think that this one person should be allowed to get away with this type of behavior," Carol Luke said.

Carol Luke tells us she was the one who filed the complaint both with the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Luke says she filed the complaint in the wake of the arrests of her son William Easterwood and daughter in law Elizabeth Watts.

"She started receiving text messages from Captain Corder. At first, I ignored them and then they started coming in at 2, 3 o'clock in the morning, then I started paying attention and then I decided it was time to stop this harassment," Luke said.

Luke says she not only raised a red flag about the text messages, but about a truck and more than $1700 that she says deputies confiscated the day they arrested her son in July.

"Right now, there was a claim there was money and we do not have the money so FDLE is investigating it," MAJ Wood said.

Wood confirms that deputies Kevin Godwin and Robbie Maxwell were placed on administrative leave while the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office continues its internal affairs review ... the same review that led to the firing of Captain Jim Corder.

FDLE opened an investigation into allegations of official misconduct earlier this month. It says that investigation is still open.

By Julie Montanaro
October 18, 2013

Captain Jim Corder has been fired from his job with the Gadsden County Sheriffs Office, a GCSO spokesman confirmed today.

MAJ Shawn Wood says Corder was fired for inappropriate text messages with a former inmate who was on community control at the time.

The woman's family filed a complaint with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement too.

Wood says two other deputies have been placed on administrative leave with pay in connection with this case, investigator Kevin Godwin and Investigator Robbie Maxwell.

By Julie Montanaro
October 10, 2013

A high ranking Gadsden County sheriffs deputy is now under investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

It comes in response to a citizen's complaint against Captain Jim Corder.

Captain Jim Corder has worked with the Gadsden County Sheriffs Office for years.

Florida's Department of Law Enforcement now confirms it opened an investigation into Corder's conduct this week.

"It's an allegation of official misconduct so this could be a crime so we have to investigate to see if it is," FDLE Spokesperson Gretl Plesinger said.

The Gadsden County Sheriffs Office says Corder was placed on administrative leave with pay on September 27th after the family of an inmate filed a complaint against him and filed that complaint with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement too.

"We felt for the integrity of our department that it was important to have someone else come in and look at it because this person is a captain," Gadsden County Sheriff's Office Major Sean Wood said. "We want everybody to know we are going to look into cases, but it's also important to know that the officer has a right to make sure we don't make any false allegations."

Right now, no one will confirm the nature of the allegations against Corder.

"I can't really get into the details yet," MAJ Wood said.

And FDLE will not confirm the name of the person who made them.

"All we can say at this point is it's an active investigation," Plesinger said.

If agents find reason to believe Corder committed a crime, Plesinger said, their findings will be turned over to the state attorney. If not, those findings will be turned over to the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office to consider any administrative action.

FDLE says it cannot put a timeline on its investigation.

We'll let you know when that's complete and if we can verify details on the nature of the allegations themselves.

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