Clay County, Fla. — New information shows Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels was told he’d face criminal charges, at least two days before his arrest.
Action News Jax also obtained documents that give a little more detail into the criminal case against Clay County’s top law enforcement officer.
A public records report shows Sheriff Daniels is facing four charges which include tampering with evidence and making false reports to law enforcement.
Prosecutors said Daniels “did alter, destroy, conceal or remove any record, document, or thing” from a cell phone.
“It takes a stretching of the imagination to understand it, personally knowing that, I’m innocent,” said Daniels in a video posted to social media.
Daniels, who was arrested Thursday, also claimed he was bullied into either resigning and withdrawing his candidacy for sheriff or face arrest.
“There’s been folks who have tried to bully me in my life and that’s one thing I’ve never tolerated,” said Daniels.
On Friday, special prosecutor Brad King released a lengthy statement saying in part, “That is not true. What was proposed to the sheriff was after his arrest an early disposition of the case that would allow him to potentially retain his pension.”
King also attached two emails sent to the sheriff’s attorney about the proposed agreement. The first email was sent on Tuesday and another was sent Wednesday.
Sheriff Daniels’ name is still on the ballot meaning he’s an active candidate for reelection for Tuesday’s primary.
Jacksonville University’s College of Arts and Sciences Dean and Political Science expert Dr. Matthew Corrigan said Daniels could still get votes.
“Believe it or not people who’ve been arrested, even people who’ve been indicted or in the middle of court cases, have gotten votes,” said Corrigan.
But Corrigan believes the charges will ultimately hurt Daniels in the polls.
“He’s got lots of opponents, lots of quality opponents, I think it’s going to be very very difficult for him to move on,” said Corrigan.
Sheriff Daniels asked voters to judge him on his record as sheriff.
“One thing I take ownership of as a man, is my failures as a husband. That has nothing to do with me as a sheriff,” said Daniels.
Sheriff Daniels will be arraigned in court on Aug. 25.
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