WAKULLA COUNTY, FL (WTXL) - On Wednesday, Wakulla County Sheriff Charlie Creel responded to employee complaints through a letter sent to Governor Rick Scott.
Five sheriff's office employees filed a whistleblower complaint in a letter to Governor Scott and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement last Friday. FDLE says they've received the letter, but the Governor's Office has not confirmed if they have.
In the letter, the employees asked for whistle-blower protection, listing three allegations against Sheriff Creel.
They claimed that an inmate who's a registered sex offender was allowed to help set up and and take care of trash at a Wakulla High School graduation event. In his letter, Creel said that he did allow the inmate, who was incarcerated for drug offenses, to wear civilian clothes and be designated as a trustee for the event. However, he said he was not aware of his sexual offender status, which was from 2006.
They also claimed Deputy Richard Moon was a threat to public safety, referencing one instance in 2009 and another one that involved Deputy Moon, along with Undersheriff Trey Morrison, who were both disciplined for insensitive social media comments. The two deputies were suspended without pay.
Creel said in his letter that the matter was thoroughly investigated, and that they were disciplined, so no he says that no further explanation is needed.
The complaint also mentioned accusations of using inmate labor to build barbeque grills. Creel said that maintenance employees built it from scrap materials, and no inmate labor was used. In reference to claims that inmates built a second barbeque for Undersheriff Morrison's birthday, Creel said that the sheriff's office maintenance director built the grill at his own expense at home.
Creel said that he believes the complaints are "political in nature," and he said that he believes those who sent the letter are unhappy with the department's handling of Deputy Moon and Undersheriff Morrison's discipline following the investigation.