Monday, Nov 24, 2014
Editorials

Scott made the right decision suspending north Florida sheriff


Published:

Just about everywhere Gov. Rick Scott turns these days he gets blasted. That's to be expected when you're a controversial governor like Scott, but we fully support a recent move he made that's filled up his email inbox with plenty of angry messages. He made the right decision and we're glad he's standing firm, regardless of the outrage from a few consituents.

Scott suspended a sheriff in north Florida for destroying or removing official documents regarding the arrest of a man who faced charges on carrying a loaded, concealed weapon. Liberty County Sheriff Nicholas Lee Finch, 50, destroyed the paperwork and even whited-out the entry on the arrest log to make it look as if nothing happened.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement pushed the incident and Scott replaced the sheriff with an FDLE agent until a permanent sheriff is seated in the rural county.

Because of Scott's actions, he's been bombarded with emails from across the state saying they will campaign against him because the sheriff was standing up for Second Amendment rights.

According to The News Service of Florida, this email was one of many sent to Scott: "I will relay this story to every Republican friend and family I know by word of mout, email, Facebook and Twitter," emailed Dean Chamblin of Walton County. "Your re-election looks gloomy to say the least! What were you thinking?"

Well, Mr. Chamblin, the governor was upholding the law of Florida. No sheriff or anyone else has the right to make their own rules and break the law doing so. The suspended sheriff had no right to "fix" the arrested man's record to look as if an arrest never happened. And destroying or hiding evidence is illegal in every county of every state in America.

Let the arguments over gun rights rage, but this is a non-issue. Laws were broken, a man was arrested and a sworn sheriff apparently broke the law. It's a simple case of right and wrong. The governor was right and the sheriff was wrong.

The Scott haters in this instance are wrong and any reasonable person would agree. The governor made the right decision doing what he did. Besides, a vocal minority can sound a lot bigger than it really is, and we're sure that's the case here.

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