A Clay County deputy has been fired after an investigation found inmates under his supervision got drunk and high while they were out working.
According to Clay County Sheriff’s Office Internal Affairs records, five inmates tested positive for either alcohol or marijuana.
The sheriff’s office began investigating when two inmates who’d just gotten back to jail from “road crew detail” got into a fight in the sally port.
Former Deputy David Barnes submitted a letter of resignation on Sept. 26, but handwritten notes on the letter indicate Sheriff Darryl Daniels denied it and fired him instead.
Internal Affairs records say two inmates under Barnes’ watch on July 31 tested positive for alcohol and three tested positive for THC.
Barnes was supposed to be watching them while they were out working, but several inmates told investigators Barnes was on his phone a lot.
One inmate told investigators Barnes played “twerking videos” for the inmates on his phone.
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Investigators reported they found contraband in Barnes’ Inmate Road Crew Van: two Mello Yello bottles filled with an altered form of hand sanitizer to make it drinkable, two hand sanitizer bags, and two empty cans of Copenhagen long cut mint tobacco.
“A complaint was received and an administrative inquiry performed. The inquiry revealed that violation of policies did occur, the complaint was sustained and the employee was terminated as a result of his actions. Serious misconduct is always met with firm disciplinary action from this administration,” Sheriff Daniels said in an emailed statement.
Sheriff’s office records show Barnes has been disciplined twice before.
In June, Barnes received “informal counseling” for ‘failure to supervise inmates appropriately” and “departure from the truth.”
Barnes had a pending investigation that began in September for “acting outside the scope of authority in Bradford County.”
In an interview described in the Internal Affairs records, Barnes said he did not know how the inmates might have gotten ahold of the contraband and denied playing videos on his phone for them.
The records also said Barnes felt he was being treated unfairly because his father is a director at the sheriff’s office.
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