Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wasted no time replacing a Black sheriff who was arrested on Friday (Aug. 14) over a sex sandal in which he ordered his deputies to arrest his mistress.
On Saturday (Aug. 15), DeSantis appointed Matthew Walsh as interim Clay County Sheriff one day after suspending Sheriff Darryl Daniels.
Daniels, who was elected in 2016 as the first Black sheriff of the suburban county, faces a third-degree felony for allegedly tampering with evidence and misdemeanor charges of falsifying reports, according to FirstCoast News.
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Daniels, 55, admitted to investigators that he had an affair with Cierra Smith when he was the director of the Duval County Jail and she was his subordinate. After revealing the affair to his wife, Daniels directed his deputies in May 2019 to arrest Smith for stalking him. However, the officers later told investigators that there was insufficient evidence to make the arrest.
Meanwhile, Daniels is running for re-election in a primary on Tuesday (Aug. 18), according to Jacksonville.com. The State Attorney Brad King accused Daniels of lying in a video on Thursday (Aug. 13), in which the disgraced officer said he would not have been arrested if he dropped out of the race.
King denied that allegation, saying that Daniels was offered a deferred prosecution agreement but would have been arrested either way. He explained that the deal was for Daniels to resign his office and quit his re-election bid in exchange for dropping the charges and keeping his pension.
If Daniels’ name sounds familiar it’s because he was recently in the news for threatening to deputize civilians and arm them with guns in case there was any violent protests in the county.
Appearing in a video with a groups of officers, Daniels says, “If we can’t handle you, I’ll exercise the power and authority as the sheriff, and I’ll make special deputies of every lawful gun owner in this county and I’ll deputize them for this one purpose to stand in the gap between lawlessness and civility.”