Gadsden Captain Fired Over Texts To Former Inmate

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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 harrassment," 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 inevstigate 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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