[UPDATE] Sheriff Harvey Forfeits His License at Wildwood Golf Course

By: Jerry Askin Email
By: Jerry Askin Email

[UPDATE] 9-29 --

Wakulla County Sheriff David Harvey and his wife Rhonda no longer have connections to the Wildwood Golf Club.

In Florida, it's illegal for a Sheriff to own a liquor license. That law prompted some Wakulla County residents to call for Sheriff David Harvey to either step down as Sheriff or turn over his interest in Wildwood Golf Club. The complaint made it all the way to State Attorney Willie Meggs' desk, but Meggs refused to prosecute the sheriff.

Wakulla county resident Ronald Canda says, "I don't know if he was given a break because of good behavior or if he was compleletely innocent."

Many Wakulla County residents were outraged to find out the sheriff was affiliated with a business that sold alcohol.

"I dont think the people of Wakulla County realizes just how close our sheriff came from being removed from office" says Al Shylkofski - Wakulla County resident.

But some residents like Sandra Nichols disagree and says Sheriff Harvey did nothing wrong.

"I think sheriff is a good sheriff. He's been good for the county and anytime he runs, he got my vote."

Now, 18 months after the official complaint was filed, Sheirff Harvey is giving in.

Wakulla bank recently took over the daily operations of the golf club.

A spokesperson from the Department of Business and Professional Regulations told WCTV, "Sheriff Harvey is no longer a license holder of the Division of Alcohol and Beverages at the Wildwood Golf Club. An application has been received by Cypress Golf to obtain the liquor license and they are currently in the approval process."

Golfers like Lee Vause says he'll continue to golf regardless of whose in charge. "I golf here two or three days a week, and I'll continue to as long as the course is here."

The Department of Business and Professional Regulation says, if Sheriff Harvey and his wife had not turned in their liquor license, the department would have filed an administration complaint for not complying - and their license would have been revoked.

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[UPDATE] --

Wakulla Sheriff David Harvey and his wife Rhonda have forfeited their vested interest in Wildwood Golf, L-L-C so that the club could continue to operate with a liquor license.

Earlier this month, WCTV reported that Sheriff Harvey's connections to the club violated three state liquor laws. But Florida's Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco and the Wildwood Gold Club reached a settlement. Under their agreement, Sheriff Harvey and his wife Rhonda had to give up their interest in the golf club to Wakulla Bank within 20 days, which they have now done.

The golf club is now owned by Orlando based company, Cypress Golf Management LLC.

Stay with WCTV for details.

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UPDATED at 6:30pm on 9-10-10 by Heather Biance

Wildwood Golf and Country Club will keep its liquor license under a settlement announced today by the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco.

The license has been in limbo since the state started investigating Wakulla County Sheriff David Harvey's interest in the club.

The Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (A division within the Department of Business and Professional Regulation) released an order Friday that requires Sheriff Harvey and his wife to give up all of their interest in the club.

But as the facility moves forward with some behind the scene changes, a lot of questions still remain.

Just hours after a settlement was reached between Florida's Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco and Wildwood Golf LLC, it was business as usual at the golf course.

Uncertainty over the facility's future began when ABT found Wildwood in violation of three state liquor laws, but we may never know for sure the extent of Wakulla County Sheriff David Harvey's involvement in the club.

"One of those allegations was an undisclosed interest by Sheriff Harvey. So part of the settlement agreement is they don't confirm or deny those allegations," says Jen Meale, spokesperson for the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

Yet the settlement clearly states that both, Rhonda and David Harvey will have to forfeit their interests in Wildwood LLC within the next 20 days to Wakulla Bank.

Wakulla Bank now has control over the facility and has hired an outside management company to look over the day to day operations.
For the golfers, they say as long as the grass is green and taken care of, they don't care who's in charge.

Over all they're trying to do their best and i think they're doing a good job so far, but everything's going to take time," says golfer, Don Smith.

Wildwood still holds a legal liquor license, but the next step will be up to Wakulla Bank. They can either register for a new license, apply to transfer the existing license over or decide to stop selling alcohol all together.

For now, Wakulla Bank isn't saying much as to their plans with the facility.

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By Julie Montanaro
The State of Florida is dropping its demands to revoke the liquor license at Wildwood Golf and Country Club.

A spokesperson at the Department of Business and Professional Regulation says the state has reached a settlement with the club and has asked the Division of Administrative Hearings to cancel the hearing scheduled to start on Monday.

DBPR spokeswoman Jenn Meale says as part of the settlement Wakulla County Sheriff David Harvey and his wife Rhonda will relinquish their interest in the company and turn it over to Wakulla Bank within the next 20 days.

Meale says Wakulla Bank will take over the club and must apply for a transfer of its liquor license within 30 days.

This comes 18 months after an initial complaints that the sheriff was violating state law by having an interest in a business that holds a liquor license. The state attorney refused to press any criminal charges in the case.


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