NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. -- From campaign signs to billboards, his name is known around town. Chris Hartley is running for Nassau County Sheriff. But we've learned this former police officer has had a couple of run-ins with the law of his own.
Monday he sat down with Action News to clear the air.
"I don't believe in having secrets from my constituents. They're the ones that are going to pay me. They're the ones that have the right to know my history," Hartley said.
It's a history that includes a criminal history.
In 2000, Hartley was written up in an incident report for domestic violence because of a fight with his younger brother where he struck him in the face with a beer bottle.
One year earlier, while a police officer in Fernandina Beach, Hartley was arrested for driving under the influence. He was never convicted, but did admit to drinking multiple beers. According to the arrest report, Hartley told the officer that "he should let him go because of his position as a police officer."
The report also says he stated that "if he caught a police officer DUI that he would just give him a ride home."
When Action News asked Hartley if he regretted saying that he said, "I said it and I don't deny it and I've never denied it."
Back in April, Hartley took out space in the local newspaper calling the drunk driving arrest one of his biggest life lessons.
"I was a scared young man that was a police officer. I knew that it would be detrimental to me. I probably would have done a headstand and said the Pledge of Allegiance to go home that night, and yes, I do regret saying it," Hartley said.
He hopes it's his honesty, not his past, that voters will remember come election day.
"Everybody has a past, it's just who is bold enough to admit to their past. The Lord's forgiven me for anything I've done and I would certainly hope the citizens of Nassau County can as well," Hartley said.
Hartley is running for Nassau County Sheriff against three others: Bill Leeper, Steve Whitley, and Garland "Bubba" Rhoden.
None of the other candidates has a criminal record, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's database.
Since all four candidates are registered Republicans, the election will be decided during the state's primary on August 14.