Former state rep and convicted felon Reggie Fullwood lands new leadership role

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Former state representative and convicted felon Reggie Fullwood has a new leadership position, two years after he was sentenced in federal court.

In his first interview since he was sentenced in 2017, he sat down exclusively with Action News Jax.

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Fullwood pleaded guilty to using campaign funds for personal use and failing to file tax returns.

His probation was supposed to last until Feb. 2020, but federal court records show a judge let him out of that probation early so he could take a new job at Operation New Hope in Springfield.

As the not-for-profit’s new Ready4Work program director, he’s now in a position to help give others a second chance.

“I felt that it was a natural fit, considering my experience in the not-for-profit realm, public service and the things that I had gone through in the justice system,” said Fullwood.

The Ready4Work program helps people who’ve served time behind bars reenter society.

Fullwood did not serve any prison time, despite originally facing more than 200 years in prison when he was indicted in 2016.

After Fullwood pleaded guilty, the judge sentenced Fullwood to 180 days of home detention followed by three years of probation and paying restitution.

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In April, Fullwood successfully petitioned the court to end his probation nearly a year early.

“Most of us have needed a second chance, and this is an organization that believes in that,” said Fullwood. “I’ve learned a lot about myself and just about perseverance and being focused.”

After one of Fullwood’s hearings in 2016, the situation became tense when Action News Jax reporter Jenna Bourne asked him about the federal charges he faced.

“Is this what you went to school for?” Fullwood asked Bourne in 2016. “You proud of yourself?”

Sitting in his new office, Fullwood said it’s an exchange he remembers well.

“Yeah, there is some regret. And I remember that I was just – it was at a time when I was, you know, I was at a real low -- a lot of frustration, a lot of disappointment in myself that I was dealing with," said Fullwood. "All things happen for a reason. So, I think I had to go through what I had to go through for me to be here today.”

Fullwood began his new role at Operation New Hope on May 1.