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Wakulla County Sheriff's Deputy Arrested for Destroying Documents

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Posted at 10:36 AM, Feb 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-20 06:51:51-05

WAKULLA CO., Fla. (WTXL) -- A Wakulla County Sheriff's lieutenant has been arrested and charged with official misconduct for destroying a court document.

According to authorities, Stephen Anthony Willis, 59, of Crawfordville turned himself in to the Thursday night. He was released after posting $1,000 bond.

In January, an internal complaint was filed about three civil service documents Willis was supposed to have served. The investigation was later turned over to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Investigators saw Willis was seen going in to his office, taking tax deeds to the agency shredder and disposing of them. He then told staff he couldn't find those documents.

"Through the act of deceit in denying knowledge of the location of the public documents Willis had been tasked to serve and did not, Willis did, with corrupt intent to obtain a benefit, conceal, cover up, destroy and mutilate an official document of the Wakulla County Sheriff's Office," according to FDLE. "Willis stood to benefit from this action of destruction…attempting to create the appearance that he had not been negligent in his duties."

Willis was originally suspended with pay pending the conclusion of the investigation. He is now in the process of being terminated by the sheriff's office. Willis served as the civil process server for the WCSO and had been with the agency for 16 years.

Official misconduct is a third degree felony.

"I run a clean and honest agency and this type of conduct will not be tolerated in any way, shape or form," said Sheriff Creel.