CLAY COUNTY, Fla. - A town hall called to discuss millions of dollars in possible budget enhancements for the Clay County Sheriff's Office, also included comments from Sheriff Darryl Daniels about the ongoing FDLE investigation, and a public apology to his wife.
CCSO is now requesting about $4.9 million from the County Commission to improve operations as the population grows. The initial request was for about $10.2 million.
Sheriff Darryl Daniels spoke publicly about the need for more money.
In an effort to reduce turnover, he said his priority is increasing employees' income.
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"The most important thing to me right now is to retain employees," Daniels told Action News Jax after the Town Hall. "And the only measure in that budget to retain employees is a step plan. And that's a nonnegotiable item for me."
Daniels says the decision on the budget will likely be made in the latter part of September.
"I would love to have come into this meeting and said that we and the leadership of Clay County have come to some mutual agreement, or consensus on the budget," Daniels said. "But we're moving in the right direction. And again, we're not going to do anything that's going to be burdensome to the taxpayers."
During the town hall meeting, Daniels spoke about the ongoing FDLE investigation.
"Certain things have transpired in the media, and have caused FDLE, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, to be conducting an investigation on me and my actions," he said during the meeting.
"And that is still underway. I kind of would have thought that it would have been done by now. And that's kind of a ‘hint-hint' ... if they're listening."
He went on to deny any wrongdoing.
"They're looking into the matters to see whether or not, I think, to see whether or not, the sheriff of Clay County violated any laws," he said. "I can tell you that I didn't, but they have to conclude that."
We reported in late July that Daniels' wife Denise applied for divorce. He apologized to her publicly Tuesday night.
"I've never made a public apology to that woman," he said. "And I just want to apologize before y'all.
"You know how they say, ‘I'm going to say it in front of God and everybody?' I want to make sure that everyone understands that, Denise Daniels, I love that woman. And I apologize to her publicly."
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