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Discussion On Dropping Charges Against Liberty County Sheriff


By Lanetra Bennett
July 18, 2013

Florida's second judicial state attorney says he's willing to consider a program that would drop criminal charges against the ousted Liberty County sheriff.

Nick Finch was arrested last month and charged with official misconduct.

State Attorney Willie Meggs says normally his office doesn't discuss plea negotiations, but, he says Nick Finch publically said that his charges would be dropped if he resigned as Liberty County Sheriff. Therefore, Meggs wanted to clarify things.

Meggs says the offer that has been vaguely discussed is that if former Liberty County Sherriff Nick Finch completes a pretrial intervention program, then Finch's official misconduct charges would be dropped. Meggs says all conditions of the program must be met.

He says Finch's resignation would be a condition, but, he says that all of the conditions have not been set.

Willie Meggs, State Attorney, 2nd Judicial Circuit, says, "Pretrial intervention can be things like 30 days in the Leon County Jail or 15 days on the sheriff's work program, and restitiion to the victim, and all kids of other things. So, we're not even remotely close to there at this point."

Investigators say a deputy arrested a resident in Liberty County for carrying a concealed firearm. Authorities say Finch released the person from jail, then altered or destroyed paperwork from the arrest.
His attorney said Finch was protecting the person's second amendment rights.

Meggs says the pretrial intervention program is for first offenders and third degree felonies.

WCTV briefly spoke to Finch's attorney, who would not comment on the matter.

Meggs says he does not know if Finch will accept or reject the offer -- again, because he says the deal has not officially been set.


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