Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels speaks on FDLE investigation

Clay Sheriff addresses FDLE investigation

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. — Only Action News Jax confronted Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels on Friday about the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation of him and his department.

Action News Jax’s Beth Rousseau caught up with the sheriff as he headed into a public appearance at the Green Cove Springs Library.

Related: FDLE confirms investigation into Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels

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Daniels said: “The investigation from FDLE is ongoing. It was just a change in classification from a probe to an investigation. They do that just before they close it, because you can’t close a probe. You can close an investigation.”

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Action News Jax spoke with FDLE after Daniels made the statement.

The department wouldn’t comment on this case but provided information that disputed the sheriff’s statement.

A spokesperson said probes, or reviews, can be closed before they become investigations.

In May we reported when the sheriff accused the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office corrections officer Cierra Smith of stalking him.

She was not charged.

The pair admitted to a long-term affair while Smith was Daniels’ subordinate at JSO.

On Wednesday, Action News Jax obtained an anonymous letter sent to FDLE and Gov. Ron DeSantis.

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It claimed Sheriff Daniels threatened to murder the person who leaked information about him.

Action News Jax reporter Elizabeth Pace questioned Gov. DeSantis about the letter Thursday.

Pace asked, “Did your office receive an anonymous letter about Sheriff Daniels?”

The governor replied: “I don’t know, they may have. I have not been briefed on anything beyond the initial statement that went out, which was probably a week or a month ago.”

Only DeSantis can remove Daniels from office.

When asked Friday if there was anything he wanted to come clean about, Sheriff Daniels answered,

“Yah, I’m going in here to read to some kids and have a good day on a Friday.”

Rousseau waited outside the main entrance of the library to ask Daniels about the allegations in the anonymous letter but was told he exited through the back door.