The Baker County Sheriff's Office.The Baker County Sheriff's Office.
The Baker County Sheriff's Office.

Baker County Sheriff’s Office under investigation

Published on June 7, 2024 at 2:14 pm

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the Baker County Sheriff’s Office for undisclosed reasons, according to an executive order this week from Gov. Ron DeSantis.

In another order, DeSantis said the FDLE also is investigating the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office.

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The orders did not provide details about the investigations but said Brian Kramer, the state attorney in the 8th Judicial Circuit, had advised DeSantis of the probes.

Alachua and Baker counties are in the 8th Judicial Circuit. The executive orders reassigned the investigations to other state attorneys: the Alachua County probe to State Attorney John Durrett of the 3rd Judicial Circuit and the Baker County probe to State Attorney Melissa Nelson of the 4th Judicial Circuit.

The executive orders, issued Tuesday, said Kramer disqualified himself because he had publicly endorsed Alachua County Sheriff Emery Gainey and Baker County Sheriff Scotty Rhoden in their election campaigns.

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In identical wording, both executive orders said Kramer disqualified himself and sought appointments of other state attorneys “to avoid a conflict of interest or any appearance of impropriety.

The Baker County jail came under fire last year after allegations that immigrants held there were medically neglected. The American Civil Liberties Union urged the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to terminate an agreement that allowed Baker County to operate as a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility.

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