BRISTOL - There's a new sheriff in town, at least for a little while.
Governor Rick Scott selected Carl Causey, FDLE Assistant Special Agent for the Pensacola region, to take over on an interim basis for suspended Liberty County Sheriff Nick Finch.
"I'm basically here to help the agency through a difficult time and support the men and women that work here" Causey said.
Despite walking into what many would call a mess, Causey said, "there were no major problems here. I'm just here kind of as a support role to help them through the transition until a more permanent interim sheriff is selected by the governor."
Sheriff's elections are held every four years, so we asked Causey, who told us he planned to hold down the fort for the next month, what the procedures would be for selecting a more permanent interim Sheriff.
"They might be able to get it on the ballot [in two years]" he said. "I guess they call it the midterm election. There's really elections every two years and the reason they'll put an interim in is because its too costly to run a special election, I believe. So, they'll bring in an interim, someone who's more permanent to get them to the next election. Then, the citizens of this county can go ahead and elect who they want.
Finch was arrested June 4 by FDLE officers for official misconduct. Finch allegedly released a man from jail who had been carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, and destroyed his arrest records.
Finch says he was exercising his discretion as a law enforcement officer and does not believe he has done anything wrong.
Since Finch's arrest, allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination have also surfaced and are being investigation by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.