By: Julie Montanaro
June 14, 2013, 7:19 p.m.
Liberty County Sheriff Nick Finch spoke publicly for the first time today since he was arrested for official misconduct.
Finch was suspended two weeks ago, and today a crowd of about 50 people called on the governor to reinstate him.
"In my opinion, it has everything to do with the second amendment and I believe that I was upholding my oath to the constitution and to the citizens of Liberty County when I made the decision I made," Nick Finch, Suspended Liberty County Sheriff, said.
Suspended Liberty County Sheriff Nick Finch faced the cameras Friday for the first time since his arrest.
FDLE accused him of destroying or altering official records. Deputies claim Finch freed a man from a jail holding cell and walked out carrying his arrest file with him.
When asked if he destroyed any paperwork or records, Finch said, "I'd love to answer that question for you but that question will be answered in court and I think that once that question is answered in court, I will be exonerated of any official misconduct."
Reporter: "Are there any political connections between the man who was in jail in the brother who came to see you...and your campaign?"
Finch's: "absolutely not."
About 50 people gathered in the Capitol Courtyard Friday to demand the Governor reinstate Finch.
The man released from the Liberty County Jail the night in question had been arrested for carrying a concealed weapon.
Many of those protesting at the capitol - including some who traveled hours to be there - say Finch was suspended for standing up for the second amendment.
"He's fighting the government and he's fighting the government for what's right for this document the country was founded on," Kenneth Edwards, Family in Liberty County, said.
"I don't think we should say that it's simply the second amendment or it's simply rule breaking or it's simply destroying records," Judy Thacker, Traveled from Lake City, said. "It all matters. Every ounce of it matters."
The Governor has received more than 1300 emails about the sheriff's suspension. at last count all but 3 were against it.
There is now a legal defense fund to help the sheriff pay his legal bills and a Facebook support group too.
Governor Scott's office released a statement saying: "Any time an elected, local, public official is charged with a felony, the Governor suspends the official until the case is concluded. This safeguard is in place to ensure Floridians are best served in their communities."
By: Julie Montanaro
June 14, 2013
Tallahassee, FL - Liberty County Sheriff Nick Finch is at the Florida Capitol along with 50 supporters. Finch was arrested June 4th for official misconduct and was suspended the same day.
One speakers says Finch was arrested for what amounts to a 'clerical error'.
Others say he was trying to stand up for the 2nd amendment.
Finch freed a man who was in a jail holding cell on gun charges.
The man's name was whited out in the jail log.
Sheriff Finch spoke for the first time today since his arrest. he's confident he'll be exonerated.
He denies altering any records and denies meeting the man before that night.
There has also been a legal defense fund set up to help the Sheriff pay his legal bills.