By: Julie Montanaro
November 6, 2013
Liberty County, FL - The Liberty County Sheriff speaks out for the first time since his reinstatement. Sheriff Nick Finch is back on the job, back in uniform and vows to give law abiding gun owners the benefit of the doubt on his side of the county line.
Liberty County Sheriff Nick Finch is back on the job and anxious to move past the controversy that led to criminal charges and his suspension from office in June.
Nick Finch: "We're going to pick up the pieces and move on."
Finch was reinstated just hours after a jury found him not guitly of official misconduct last week. Finch was accused of destroying documents, whiting out jail logs and freeing a man from jail after his arrest on concealed weapons charges. Finch denies altering any documents and still believes freeing Floyd Parish was the right thing to do.
Nick Finch: "He wasn't bothering a soul. He was five miles from home, headed home and he fogot he had a pistol in his pocket. Now does that make somebody a felon? I say no it doesn't."
Finch says since his reinstatement three of the top brass at the sheriff's department have resigned... Chief Deputy Wes Harsey, Chief Deputy Tim Partridge and investigator John Summers. Finch says he has also met with deputies on patrol to discuss how they should handle concealed weapons arrests while he's sheriff.
Finch: "There's rumors that I've told my deputies not to enforce any gun laws in Liberty County. Those rumors are just not true. My position is this: If you are a lawful gun owner engaged in lawful activity, you have absolutely nothing to worry about in Liberty County."
Finch says Liberty County has been in turmoil for nearly a year. He called his arrest political...
Finch: "... I'm 100% convinced of that."
Finch says folks can decide his future at the ballot box three years from now.
Finch: "Just give me a chance. Give me them three years. If you don't like me at the end of those three years, you're welcome to vote me out of office."
Finch was elected last November and was just months into his term when he decided to free Parrish from jail.