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Liberty County Sheriff Arrested [READ ARREST WARRANT]

By: Julie Montanaro; Office of Governor Rick Scott; Florida Department of Law Enforcement Email
By: Julie Montanaro; Office of Governor Rick Scott; Florida Department of Law Enforcement Email
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UPDATED by Julie Montanaro
June 12, 2013

The governor's office released more information today about the feedback it has received on the suspension of Liberty County Nick Finch.

According to the Governor's Press Secretary Jackie Schutz:

The total number of emails regarding the arrest of the Liberty County Sheriff is 1326

1323 oppose his arrest and suspension

3 support the arrest


UPDATED by Julie Montanaro
June 11, 2013

The governor is getting an earful for suspending the Liberty County Sheriff.

Liberty County Sheriff Nick Finch was arrested for official misconduct last week

FDLE agents say he ordered jailers to free a man arrested on gun charges and agents say he removed or destroyed the paperwork that went with it.

The governor suspended Finch from office the day of his arrest.

A spokeswoman for Governor Rick Scott says he has received more than 650 emails about it. Among them are messages that call on the governor to resign and others that accuse him of opposing the Second Ammendment.


UPDATED by Julie Montanaro
June 5, 2013

FDLE is investigating more complaints against the Liberty County Sheriff.

Nick Finch was arrested for misconduct and suspended from office Tuesday.

Wednesday, Commissioner Gerald Bailey said FDLE's investigation is ongoing, but he would not specity the number or nature of the additional complaints.

"Did you receive any additional complaints once you started investigating this?"

"Yes," Bailey said.

"You've received more?"

"Yes," Bailey said.

"Can you tell me how many more?"

"No," Bailey said.

Sheriff Finch was arrested Tuesday. Agents say Finch altered or removed official documents and ordered corrections officers at the Liberty County Jail to free a man who had been arrested on gun charges.

FDLE says the official misconduct charge is a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison if convicted.

"It could go from the fact that he could ... all the way from he'll lose his job and his law enforcement certificate to he could be reinstated," Bailey said.

The governor appointed FDLE agent Carl Causey as interim sheriff for the next 30 days.


By: Garin Flowers
June 4, 2013, 11p.m.

Liberty County, FL - Governor Rick Scott has named an Interim Liberty County Sheriff, a man named Carl Causey.

That announcement comes just after word of the arrest of current sheriff, 50 year old Nicholas Finch. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement booked Finch into the Liberty County Jail a little after 5 pm Tuesday.

Investigators say back in March, a Liberty County Sheriff's deputy made an arrest on a resident there for carrying a concealed firearm. FDLE believes shortly after the arrest, Finch released the suspect from jail, then altered or destroyed paperwork from the arrest.

Liberty County resident, Samuel Coover: "Since he's considered what people consider an outsider and not from Liberty County, that they finally railroaded him out. In my personal opinion he was doing his job and people didn't like it."

The sheriff declined to comment, but his attorney Jimmy Judkins had this to say:
"The records at the jail show exactly what happened in this case and the records speak the truth. The sheriff looked at the facts and said 'I believe in the second amendment and we're not going to charge him.' That is not misconduct at all. That is within the Sheriff's perogative whether to charge someone or not."

Finch is being charged with one count of official misconduct. He was released shortly after he was arrested on his own recognizance.


UPDATED 7:20pm
by Julie Montanaro

Sheriff Nick Finch has declined to comment on his arrest. His attorney, Jimmy Judkins, released the following statement:

"The records at the jail show exactly what happened in this case and the records speak the truth. The sheriff looked at the facts and said 'I believe in the second ammendment and we're not going to charge him.' That is not misconduct at all. That is within the Sheriff's perogative whether to charge someone or not."


By: Julie Montanaro

Liberty County, FL - The sheriff of Liberty County has been arrested for official misconduct. Sheriff Nick Finch was arrested at about 5 o'clock this afternoon. He has since been booked and released from jail.

FDLE Investigators say it all started when a Liberty County deputy arrested a resident on March 8, 2013 for carrying a concealed firearm. FDLE investigators say shortly after the suspect was booked into the jail, Finch released him and altered or destroyed documents associated with his arrest.

The investigation has been the talk of the town since FDLE agents served a search warrant at the jail back on May 24th.

Betty Ellis, Liberty County resident: "You know how rumors get around. You hear a little bit and then it's added on to. So I'm just anxious to find out what's really true and what's not. So that Liberty County can get back to having the sheriff and if not him, one that will keep the county clean."


Press Release: Office of Governor Rick Scott

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Today, Governor Rick Scott announced the appointment of Carl Causey as Interim Sheriff of Liberty County.

Causey, 53, of Gulf Breeze, has been the Assistant Special Agent in Charge for the Pensacola Region of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement since 2010. Previously, ASAC Causey served 11 years with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office where he worked in patrol and investigations. Causey served as an agent in the Sebring Field Office of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement from 1993 to 1996, and as an agent in the Pensacola Regional Operations Center from 1996 to 2007. In 2007, he was promoted to Special Agent Supervisor over the Major Crimes Squad. He received his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Troy State University.

Governor Scott said, “I am confident that Carl Causey will serve the families of Liberty County well during this interim term.”

Causey replaces suspended Liberty County Sheriff Nick Finch, and is appointed for a term beginning June 4, 2013, and ending July 4, 2013.


Press Release: Florida Department of Law Enforcement

For Immediate Release
June 4, 2013

Tallahassee - Inspectors with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Office of Executive Investigations obtained a warrant for the arrest of Nicholas Lee Finch, 50, of Bristol, Fla., earlier today on one count of official misconduct, a violation of section 838.022, Florida Statutes.

Investigators allege that Finch destroyed or removed official arrest documents from the Liberty County Jail, making it appear as though an arrest never occurred. The investigation revealed that a Liberty County Sheriff’s Office deputy arrested a Liberty County resident on March 8, 2013 for carrying a concealed firearm, a third degree felony. Shortly after the suspect was booked into the Liberty County Jail, Finch allegedly released the suspect and altered or destroyed documents associated with his arrest.

Finch was arrested just after 5 p.m. today and was booked into the Liberty County Jail. He was released on his own recognizance. Finch was elected Liberty County Sheriff in 2012.

The State Attorney’s Office, 2nd Judicial Circuit will prosecute this case.


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