Florida sheriff is arrested over sex scandal at his previous job where 'he had extramarital affair with a corrections officer he was supervising then tried to get her arrested on stalking allegations'

A Florida sheriff facing a primary contest has been arrested following a sex scandal investigation at his previous job involving a female corrections officer and trumped-up stalking allegations.
Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels, 54, turned himself in to the jail in Jacksonville on Thursday. He was charged with a felony count of tampering with evidence and three misdemeanor counts of giving false information to law enforcement.
He was released without bond that same day after being processed.

Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels, 54, is seen making a statement maintaining his innocence following his arrest Thursday on felony and misdemeanor charges
Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels, 54, is seen making a statement maintaining his innocence following his arrest Thursday on felony and misdemeanor charges

Daniels previously worked as the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office jails director. He was elected sheriff of Clay County, just southwest of Jacksonville, in 2016.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement confirmed an internal investigation last year into Cierra Smith, a corrections officer more than 20 years Daniels' junior who had been his mistress for six years while he was her supervisor. 
Officials said Daniels had tried to get Smith arrested in May 2019 on stalking allegations, and investigators told prosecutors there wasn't enough evidence. Smith resigned while under investigation for misconduct claims.
Daniels' attorney Matt Kachergus told the Florida Times-Union that the timing of the arrest seems suspicious in light of a primary election scheduled for next Tuesday. Daniels remains on the Tuesday ballot, where he faces six Republican challengers.
'It would appear that the timing of this is designed to influence the outcome of that election,' Kachergus said, adding he only learned two days ago that prosecutors planned to file charges.
Darryl Daniels
Cierra Smith
Daniels (left) has been accused of trying to get his former mistress and subordinate, Cierra Smith (right), arrested on baseless stalking charges last year  
Smith said she first met Daniels as a 21-year-old working as a corrections officer under his supervision at the Duval County Jail
Smith said she first met Daniels as a 21-year-old working as a corrections officer under his supervision at the Duval County Jail 
To avoid a conflict of interest, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis assigned the case to the State Attorney's Office in Ocala, which does not handle Clay County or Jacksonville cases. 
The governor has the authority to suspend local elected officials charged with felonies, though no suspension had been issued Thursday night.
Smith, who continued her affair with the married Daniels for about six years, resigned last year after being found guilty of official misconduct
Smith, who continued her affair with the married Daniels for about six years, resigned last year after being found guilty of official misconduct 
Just hours after his release from jail, an indignant Daniels, still wearing his sheriff's badge over his breast pocket, released a videotaped statement maintaining his innocence and questioning the timing and circumstances of his arrest.
Daniels insinuated that the State Attorney's Office was pursuing an 'ulterior motive' to impact the primary election when prosecutors decided to bring the charges against him on Thursday.
He characterized the allegations against him as 'baffling' and declared that he is 'innocent.'
'I want you to look past the smoke screen of dirty politics,' Daniels said. '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.'
Daniels claimed that the State Attorney's Office had offered him a non-prosecution deal if he agreed to voluntarily step down, withdraw his name from the ballot before Friday, pay a fine and never run for sheriff in any county in the area.
'Listen, there’s been folks who’ve tried to bully me in my life and that’s one thing I’ve never tolerated,' he said. 'I’ve never tolerated being bullied. Not from a child and certainly not as a man and not as the sheriff of this county.' 
The sordid saga began unfolding in 2013, when Smith was a 21-year-old corrections officer at Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and Daniels was 48 years old and the director of the Duval County Jail, according to extensive reporting by News4Jax.
Daniels' wife of more than 30 years, Denis (with him, left), filed for divorce in July 2019
Daniels' wife of more than 30 years, Denis (with him, left), filed for divorce in July 2019
Speaking to First Coast News last year, Smith admitted to having a six-year affair with her married supervisor, which continued even after she wed US Army Lt Larry Smith.
Lt Smith told Folio Weekly that Daniels, who went by the nickname 'Uncle D,' was a constant presence in their lives and acted as a mentor, even offering him relationship advice. 
The couple's marriage fell apart in 2017 after the husband allegedly found sexually explicit email exchanges, photos and videos depicting his wife and Sheriff Daniels.
The internal affairs investigation into the lovers began in July 2018 after her by then-estranged husband reported the affair to JSO.  
Investigators determined there was sufficient evidence to file departmental charges against Cierra Smith, including trespassing, departure from the truth, failure to be candid, failure to conform with work standards and unbecoming conduct. 
An allegation that Smith had sex with her boss at work was not substantiated. 
Smith was initially placed on restricted desk duty pending the outcome of the probe. At the conclusion of the investigation, having been found guilty of multiple violations, she was recommended for termination but instead resigned. 
In early May 2019, Daniels filed a report accusing Smith, who was reportedly pregnant at the time with her second child, of keeping a gun in her car and following him in a 'manner that caused him great concern.' 
He ordered his deputies to arrest the woman for stalking him, but the officers refused to comply, saying there was no probable cause to make the arrest, according to court records. 
Two months later, Daniels' wife of more than 30 years, Denise Daniels, filed for divorce, characterizing her marriage as 'irretrievably broken' in the court paperwork. 
Florida sheriff is arrested over sex scandal at his previous job where 'he had extramarital affair with a corrections officer he was supervising then tried to get her arrested on stalking allegations' Florida sheriff is arrested over sex scandal at his previous job where 'he had extramarital affair with a corrections officer he was supervising then tried to get her arrested on stalking allegations' Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 02:10 Rating: 5

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