Columbia County Grand Jury’s Presentment Released

By: Office of the State Attorney Third Judicial Circuit of Florida Press Release
By: Office of the State Attorney Third Judicial Circuit of Florida Press Release

Lake City, Florida (Press Release) –

State Attorney Robert L. “Skip” Jarvis, Jr., today announced the release of the Columbia County Grand Jury’s presentment or report concerning operations of the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office. This presentment was sealed by the Court for 15 days pending an opportunity for those concerned in the presentment to file any motions concerning the presentment to the Court. No motions have been filed and the Court has released the report. The document is now a public record and available for public inspection. The original of the presentment is filed with the Clerk of Court. A copy will be posted on the State Attorney web site linked below.

The presentment details the investigation of the Grand Jury lead by State Attorney Jarvis. The facts show that Ms. Pamela Foxx was employed by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office as a legal assistant. On numerous occasions, she went to the evidence custodian and signed out cash money claiming that the funds had been forfeited when in fact they had not. She embezzled the money. This process occurred many times over a period of years. At the outset, Mr. Jarvis was of the belief that the Sheriff’s Office could not properly investigate itself. Therefore, he arranged to have the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) assist with the investigation. Also, Mr. Jarvis saw that it would be necessary to have an expert Certified Public Accountant review the documents to determine exactly what occurred. It was essential to have a CPA with no ties to the Sheriff’s Office review this matter.

Mr. Jarvis said, “The Grand Jury worked very hard all summer to determine the facts in this matter, examining it very carefully. The public has a right a competent review of what was and is going on within the Columbia County Sheriff’s office. They have reached a conclusion that wrongdoing was taking place and they have charged accordingly. The matter is now open to public inspection.”

Chief Assistant William E. Whitley was assigned to assist Mr. Jarvis in the Grand Jury investigation. Mr. Whitley said, “I appreciate Mr. Jarvis allowing me to assist him as he lead the Grand Jury investigation. It was clear from the beginning that his years of experience were needed to steer this process to get to the truth. I learned from Mr. Jarvis that an organization like the Sheriff’s office should not investigate itself in this kind of matter. It takes independent, outside professional investigators to really gain a full understanding of the problem. Mr. Jarvis also knew instinctively that an outside CPA would be necessary to go through the thousands of pages of documents, records, reports, receipts and bank statements involved in this case. Without the leadership of Mr. Jarvis and the work of the independent CPA we probably would not have discovered the embezzlement charged by the Grand Jury against Ms. Kelly Crews. Frankly, I think Mr. Jarvis has a well deserved reputation as a corruption fighter.”

Any person accused of a crime by a formal charge in an indictment is presumed innocent until the charges are finally determined by a plea or trial.

For further information, go to the State Attorney web site or call Mr. Jarvis at 386 – 362-2320.

The full press release is attached above.

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