Florida Sheriff Loses Job, Gets Arrested For Upholding The 2nd Amendment

Sheriff-Nick-FinchRepublican Governor Rick Scott of Florida has just taken a nasty stand against the 2nd Amendment.  On Tuesday Liberty County Sheriff Nick Finch was suspended from office and arrested. The crime? He chose to overlook a perceived concealed carry violation and drop charges against a man in his custody.

WCTV reports:

Tallahassee – Inspectors with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Office of Executive Investigations obtained a warrant for the arrest of Nicholas Lee Finch, 50, of Bristol, Fla., earlier today on one count of official misconduct, a violation of section 838.022, Florida Statutes.

Investigators allege that Finch destroyed or removed official arrest documents from the Liberty County Jail, making it appear as though an arrest never occurred. The investigation revealed that a Liberty County Sheriff’s Office deputy arrested a Liberty County resident on March 8, 2013 for carrying a concealed firearm, a third degree felony. Shortly after the suspect was booked into the Liberty County Jail, Finch allegedly released the suspect and altered or destroyed documents associated with his arrest.

Finch was arrested just after 5 p.m. today and was booked into the Liberty County Jail. He was released on his own recognizance. Finch was elected Liberty County Sheriff in 2012.

The State Attorney’s Office, 2nd Judicial Circuit will prosecute this case.

Tallahassee.com reports the nature of the charges of alleged misconduct:

According to court records, Finch’s arrest stems from the March 8 arrest of another man, Floyd Eugene Parrish, on a charge of carrying a concealed deadly weapon.

Sgt. James Joseph Hoagland of the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office arrested Parrish after stopping his car and finding a loaded semi-automatic pistol hidden in his pocket. Parrish was taken to jail and placed into a holding cell while jail workers began documenting his arrest and processing him, according to court records.

One jail worker told investigators that after Hoagland left the jail, Finch arrived with one of Parrish’s family members and spoke with Floyd Parrish inside the holding cell. Finch then went into the jail control room, took possession of the arrest file and said Parrish would be released and no charges would be filed, according to court records.

Hoagland told investigators that several days later, he talked with Finch about Parrish’s release, and Finch told him he “believed in Second Amendment rights.”

Investigators said in court records that Parrish’s name was whited-out from the county jail log. While Hoagland was able to provide a copy of Parrish’s arrest affidavit, the original arrest record has not been found.

Finch has been released on his own recognizance and has declined statement. His attorney, Jimmy Judkins, released the following statement on his behalf:

“The records at the jail show exactly what happened in this case and the records speak the truth. The sheriff looked at the facts and said ‘I believe in the second amendment and we’re not going to charge him.’ That is not misconduct at all. That is within the Sheriff’s prerogative whether to charge someone or not.”

With so many Sheriff’s offices making strong pro-2nd Amendment stands in 2013 this is a situation that was bound to happen. The Sheriff had every right not to charge this man. The 2nd Amendment of the constitution should supercede any Florida law. “Shall Not Be Infringed” still means something to men like Nick Finch.

The whole case will surely become about the documents. If Nick Finch destroyed the documents they will make an example of him for all of us to see. They have been waiting for this opportunity. This case will not be prosecuted to the extent that Nick Finch did not understand the 2nd Amendment. They will try to get him on a technicality.

Pro-2nd Amendment law enforcement officials all over the country need to take note. They are looking for any backdoor they can to try to shut you down. This story should be national news soon. My hope is that Finch did not destroy the documents and this case can be heard on its real merits.

What is your opinion? Did Nick Finch do anything wrong by releasing the man and dropping charges? It should be noted that his misconduct charge is a third degree felony that could be punishable by up to five years in prison, which is ironically the same penalty that the gun owner could have received. My first thought is that he tried to protect a constituent and in the end he may lose his career and freedom for it. He may lose his freedom for trying to protect the freedom of Floyd Parrish.

Is it right for a man to go to prison for five years for standing up for the 2nd Amendment?

It is my belief that Rick Scott is a puppet and he has clearly shown who may be pulling the strings. The irony is that in 2010 Rick Scott was the only candidate for governor to receive an A-rating from the NRA. Scott is up for re-election in 2014 and it makes one wonder. Is he now trying to soften his stance on the 2nd Amendment thinking that it may bring him more votes?

In the small town I live in it was rumored that our local sheriff was actually a gun runner many years ago. Things were handled as is normal in these situations. There was a quiet resignation and no charges were ever filed. So don’t tell me that Rick Scott isn’t trying to fry the good Sheriff for a political reason. Firing him or letting him resign, without an arrest, would have saved the publicity. It may not be right but that is how it’s done in politics. The truth is that Scott wants this publicity and needs it badly.

This just in… This report from publicpolicypolling.com could give us some answers:

Rick Scott’s approval numbers have seen no improvement over the last two months, even after his decision to allow Medicaid expansion in Florida. 33% of voters continue to approve of the job he’s doing to 57% who disapprove. Although his overall numbers are the same he has seen a slight improvement with Democrats (from 21/71 to 23/69) and a slight downgrade with Republicans (from 49/38 to 46/42).

Scott continues to trail Charlie Crist by double digits in a hypothetical match up, 52/40. That’s just a slight improvement for him from January when he was down 53/39. Crist, who still has a 28% favorability rating with Republicans, wins over 29% of the Republican vote and also has a narrow lead with independents at 47/41. Crist still isn’t as popular as he used to be- a 46/43 favorability rating- but that’s good enough against the backdrop of Scott’s unpopularity to give him a pretty substantial early advantage.

Scott does poorly against some other potential Democratic candidates too. He trails Pam Iorio 44/37 and Alex Sink 45/40. He does at least lead Nan Rich 42/36.

So Rick Scott has gone from the highest rated NRA gubernatorial candidate to a man who is desperate to please liberals. There is always a story behind the story.

Feel Free to Contact Governor Scott’s Office to tell him how you feel…

Office of Governor Rick Scott
State of Florida
The Capitol
400 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001

(850) 717-9337

email:  http://www.flgov.com/contact-gov-scott/email-the-governor/

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About Dean Garrison

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63 Responses to Florida Sheriff Loses Job, Gets Arrested For Upholding The 2nd Amendment

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  8. Hunter says:

    Everyone should be just as outraged that an elected official feels they can tamper with the official public record. Were this any other crime, besides gun related, 2A’ers would be screaming their heads off about that type of corruption. You cannot allow anyone to “fix” the paperwork on a whim. One wonders what else this sheriff covers up after bringing in a family member of someone being arrested.

  9. Bret says:

    This is completely a circumstance of doing the right thing the wrong way. It IS a case of misconduct. The issue at hand isn’t a second amendment rights issue. So don’t make it out to be. That’s a MASSIVE stretch.

    Its like calling a bag of potato’s; a bag of ammo simply because it can be put into a device that is equipped to launch them. Rather than just buying potato’s for dinner.

    The fact is that the Sheriff violated Florida Law. What should have happened is the processing of the inmate continues, the Sheriff calls a judge and has the judge on the back-end issue an ROR. The Asst.D.A gets a phone call and the case gets dismissed for “lack of evidence of a crime” by the same judge. Not difficult in that circle to accomplish. Its paperwork but doing the right thing the right way is more important.

    As far as “stepping down”? No, bad move. All of this will go away, quietly into the night. Scott wont risk a high profile prosecution of a Sheriff and stirring the hornets nest of a state that everyone but South of Okeechobee is a gun owner. It would be political suicide.

    If your not pro-second amendment then you wont get elected for the most part in Florida. To many gun loving, Levi Garrett chewing people running around. Unfortunately this same group have trucks lifted higher than their I.Q.Which is why to go after this Sheriff would lose him the election. They would see it as “Scott wants to take our guns”. Because that’s all it would take is a Semi-Southern Democrat (minus the racism) stance on things and Scott would put the final nail in his own coffin.

    Making this about Rick Scott is also pointless. As far as Florida Politics go. Word is Crist will be running again in which case Scott is gone, Crist made a name for himself as Governor when he pissed on the shoes of the Republican Party in order to do the right thing. Telling your own party they are wrong and voting against them on a hot button issue tends to send a shock wave or two. He runs? Scott may as well not.

    • Voice In the Wilderness says:

      But maybe, just maybe, the officer was willing to make a sacrifice so as to be heard for the sake of encouragement to right the wrong. Maybe he also deserves our help to lift his cause above the noises of political clutter and scandals so that we might help him to be acknowledged for his good cause and help our politicians hearken to our voices who support what this sheriff was attempting to do. Perhaps rather than measuring success by terms of politics that has gone stale, we might be able to help politicians turn an ear to our voices in support of the one willing to go out of their way for the sake of doing right. Maybe.

  10. Rie says:

    I agree that he shouldn’t have destroyed records, but as Sheriff, he had every right to not pursue charges. Also, to take a Sheriff to court on charges is ridiculous. This is clearly a hand-slapping offense, as we see in our highest offices. After all, the people are suppose to be guided by our government. And the Governor of Florida is obviously a big lying pig, just like our terrorist in chief…. so I guess someone was paying attention.

  11. Boscoe says:

    I’m extremely far right and in law enforcement. However, destroying the records is a huge “no-no”. A simple “cite-release” and meeting with the D.A. for a “decline to file” charges based on 2nd Amendment issues would have been in step here. I’m all for stopping the Obama government from infringing upon my rights guaranteed under the 2nd Amendment but something is not right here.

    • wildbronco26 says:

      If you read this article and the News report there is no actual evidence that he destoried any records, he simply choose as the Sheriff, which is well within his authority, to refuse to charge this man. Please read up on FL law before you make comments that are not in accordance with Flordia Law.

  12. Pingback: Florida Sheriff Arrested for 2nd Amendment Stance | USA Zorro Press

  13. oledoc2u says:

    a Sheriff can release anyone he sees fit to release. You may not like, the Governor may not like it, and the PA may not like it, but he can do that. To commit the crime he was charged with, official misconduct, he would have had to have benefitted from the release. Was he paid? No… Politics at it’s best…kick their ass Sheriff….

  14. brendt says:

    It is absolutely hilarious that you would classify the destruction of records as a “technicality” just because his related actions align with your viewpoint. I’m a strong supporter of the second Amendment, but I have to doubt that such support was the sole reason for Finch’s actions. If everything was truly at his “discretion”, then there was no need to alter/destroy records.And even if he *didn’t* do alter/destroy anything (doubtful), then he is obscenely naive about the climate in this country not to cross every “t” and dot every “i” in any kind of gun case. I really don’t want anyone that stupid in a job that requires him to carry a weapon.

  15. Chris says:

    The Supreme Court has ruled that the second amendment does not apply when out in public. Was this guy part of a well regulated militia? Probably not. The second amendment is not absolute, just as the first amendment has limits like not shouting fire in a crowded theater.

  16. Elizabeth Burns says:

    I’m praying for u, Sheriff . God bless you!

  17. mytoottoot says:

    First things first what was the man stopped for to start with the cop had to have a reason to stop him or it was a illegal stop and what was the reason for a search to start with something is wrong there. Also the sheriff is the deputy’s boss when a sheriff is elected he does not have keep all the hired help The sheriff is the top law enforcement for his county because he is elected by the people of his county no other law enforcement officer is be it deputy state police or federal officer the sheriff should have last word about enforcement in his county

  18. teresa says:

    Look at the big picture people…this was a political advertisment for Charlie Crist. Plain and simple. Typical underhand of the now Left Charlie. Pathetic!

  19. Nedra says:

    My concern is that the Sheriff didn’t destroy the documents, maybe someone else did. I applaud Sheriff Finch for upholding the 2nd Amendment. However, if he felt that strongly, why was there a need to destroy documentation, if that’s what happened. That’s why I’m concerned that he didn’t, someone else did and implicated him. Just my two cents.

  20. Ray says:

    That sheriff did the right thing within his authority and jurisdiction. Bad law is bad law and no law that goes against the constitution is valid anyway. God bless sheriff Finch and give him protection from communist lackies like the governor of florida.

    • I agree Ray, the Constitution “SHOULD” take precedence in this case and all other cases for that matter. All laws regarding any kind of gun control are unconstitutional, including the 1934 law restricting automatic firearms, and the 1968 law of no felons ever owning guns (The Constitution states that all free men have the right to own and bear arms and says nothing about only if you’ve never been charged with a felony) If you have paid your debt to society then you are a free man and since when did our country stop believing in forgiveness. So many good people have permanently and unconstitutionally lost their rights as American citizens because of one mistake in their past, whether there was any violence commited or not.

      • Tito Perez says:

        So now we give convicted murderers and rapist guns because they did there time. I can see if there crime was committed as a juvenile but as a grown adult. Come on. Be realistic. Might as well hand them 100 dollars and a gun when they get released. And tell them good luck oh by the way in case someone wants to murder or rape you here’s a gun.

  21. Mike says:

    The person that was arrested had a hidden gun and did not have a concealed carry permit. Being arrested for that is not an infringement of his rights because the law said he had to have a permit to carry a concealed gun. That is not telling him he can’t carry a gun it’s telling him he can’t carry a concealed gun. When a policeman pulls a car over he takes his life in his hands everytime he approaches a car because there may be a gun in there that any person in the car could use to kill him. There have been too many times that an officer has approached a car and gotten shot. If someone gets you upset wouldn’t you want to know they are carrying a gun before you decide to confront them? Alaska has the right idea because everybody is allowed to have a gun in their vehicle but the must immediately tell an officer when he gets to their car that they have a gun in there. No Sherrif or police officer should have the power to drop any charges once they are made. Only the district attorney or a judge should be allowed to do that. The sherrif was elected to enforce the laws of the state and if he fails to do that then he is in violation of his oath of office and needs to be disciplined for that. He has the right to disagree with the law but not to refuse to enforce it. I also agree that it smells alot like a coverup of an illegal search.

    • Ed Reilly says:


    • Larry Nutter says:

      Mike, you are wrong in your assertion that a law enforcement officer, “No Sheriff or police officer should have the power to drop any charges once they are made.” If you as a police officer figure out there was more to the story, or you were wrong, you need to be able to correct your own error. Can you imagine being the victim of a false arrest and the arresting officer acknowledges this but you have to spend $3,000 on an attorney to defend yourself when the officer acknowledges he was mistaken. Mistakes are made by everyone. In the legal system they need to be corrected as soon as possible. I had to make a complaint against a wheelchair bound parking enforcement officer. He could not gain the vantage point to see the handicapped sticker on my wife’s car. When presented with the evidence he stated, “show that to the judge and he may give you a break.” I did not take it to a judge, I went to his supervisor’s supervisor and the mayor. The matter got resolved on the spot. This was something the officer should have handled on the spot. You would like to remove this authority to correct his own error? That was his mistake; he did not fix his own error.

  22. Chris says:

    Ok its not the second amendment why he is in trouble, he was covering up the arrest by either destroying or deleting official documents which is illegal. If the arrest was improper there is a appropriate methodology to remove such documents from the citizens file, which takes a court order. The sheriff used bad judgment. To the author write something that has all the facts, you have so many holes in this piece I can drive my car through it!

  23. Liberty says:

    Evil people make bad laws. This event should go before a jury of Informed Jurors.
    See: http://www.fija.org

    No victim = NO CRIME. Lock up criminals who commit a crime – theft, murder, rape. Not individuals who have harmed no one or their property.

    “The primary function of the independent juror is not, as many think,
    to dispense punishment to fellow citizens accused of breaking various
    laws, but rather to protect fellow citizens from the tyrannical abuses
    of power by government.”

    The Constitution guarantees you the right to trial by jury. This means
    that government must bring its case before a jury of The People if
    government wants to deprive any person of life, liberty, or property.”

    Jurors can say no to government tyranny by refusing to convict.”

  24. john says:

    the story is very incomplete, why was the man searched, the Sheriff may have pulled the info to keep from having illegal search and seizure complains filed and the deputy that brought him in got mad cause he thought he was right. there are a lot of hole here, seems like an illegal search as no other charges are mentioned, that is often ex sponged to keep from having a law suit that the arrested man is easily going to win. There are not enough facts and his lawyers statement sounds as if they hold the ace that will turn this around.

  25. truebluelou says:

    Some folks need to check the information contained in the duties and rights of the local and or county and or parish Sheriff: the Sheriff really is the law of the land and is upheld as the last word in the state’s law enforcement. No one can “fire” an elected Sheriff, except for the sheriff. All of the states have the same force on the side of the local citizen when the Sheriff is actually their advocate and must stand on his/her oath of office. Sheriff Finch will win this one, and if not, his lawyer will.

  26. James E. Ives says:

    Rick Scott is a Alfa Hotel. The elected sheriff holds a constitutional office for that Florida County as the Chief Law Enforcement Officer. He had every right to do what he did. Sounds liked a man of entegraty to me. I would have been proud to have voted for him. I hope he is able to sue the State of Florida for a injustice against him and the citizens of Liberty County. I am a retired Florida LEO with over 25 years of service,

  27. It smells of liberal hypocrisy. So I’ll wait till all the information is out. I still say that the Government has caused all this mayhem and the one who should be arrested resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Until he is out of our house things will get worst.

  28. joe010106 says:

    Here’s the thing. The first few paragraphs explain everything. He didn’t get arrested for sticking up for the 2nd, he was arrested for destroying documents. If he was really standing by the 2nd the guy wouldn’t have been arrested in the first place. If you don’t want to be found out don’t write it down.

  29. Ian T. MacLeod says:

    I sounds to me like Scott has just unofficially resigned. Especially with Florida’s population of retirees, I would think second Amendment rights would be of particular concern. In fact Florida police departments action all over the state have been so pugnacious, and downright lousy about actually protecting people, that the older population would be really protective of those rights! Which would make Sheriff Finch kinda popular, i would think. And Florida does count as part of “the South”, where the Second Amendment is far more revered than in the rest of the of the country!

  30. Carol2324 says:

    According to Kris Anne Hall the Sheriff never actually charged Mr. Parish, therefore the ‘record’ of his detainment became irrelevant. It is proper to remove entries that are not administratively useful. http://krisannehall.com/?utm_source=Sheriff+Finch&utm_campaign=Sheriff+Finch&utm_medium=email

  31. God bless you Sheriff Finch For doing the right thing And fighting the good fight in spite of all the opposition

  32. Ernest says:

    As a retired Law Enforcement Officer from Fl, you realize there are laws on the books that are just wrong (Abortion being the countries downfall) and shouldn’t be there let alone enforced. We also learned quickly that we better be able to “un-arrest” people when we have done wrong or a mistake made, nor are we forced to arrest or not arrest anyone. That being said, politics forces many officers to do what they believe is wrong. With that, the real crime here is the politics and politicians. While we can all say that a concealed permit and destruction of documents are against the law in Fl., this is just a technicality to the real issue.

    Republicans are not friends of conservatives and definitely not of christians. Republicans are friends to “power” and waiver (throw under the bus) anyway they need to to get it. I despise DEMONcrats but they hold true to who they are; liberal subversives dedicated to a Godless social society.

    I am not interested in admiring men of conviction but standing behind them or with them. Tell me Fl., when has your Governor ever said he did wrong? He can start by “un-arresting” the Sheriff! My humble opinion only…

  33. Everett W says:

    This is actually in the next town over from me. This is a very poor and rural area. Many will say the good-ole-boy system is still quite prevalent here. This whole situation is a bit odd and I don’t believe anyone knows the whole story (yet). We’ll just need to see how this plays out.

  34. Rex Uranus says:

    Technically, the guy is allowed to walk around his home with a pistol in his pocket if he wants to. Whatever happened to the automobile being an extension of the home? It’s not like he was walking down a public sidewalk with a gun in his pocket!

    • Tim says:

      There are specific laws about carrying in your car without a CWP. One of the places you cannot carry it in your car is in your pocket. Glove compartment, center console are fine as are many other places, but you cannot conceal it on your body without a CWP. The law is very specific about it.

  35. stormwarrior says:

    Does anyone see the ironing as the county is called Liberty? Why can’t politicians just keep their nose out of it.The man was doing his job and found this man innocent of of any crime.Politicians make me want to puke. If everybody had a gun there wouldn’t be any crime. Except the crime that goes on in the Government that’s where all the smart criminals reside. The Untouchables.

  36. Jerome Brand says:

    Its all BS what the hll does it matter if I have a ccp or not! Why does any one need to know what I have? This is a technical issue from the get go. He was pulled for what? He was searched Why? Was he using the gun to commit a crime? This whole thing smells.

  37. Kimberly says:

    We only need to know the answer to one question: Did Parrish have a concealed weapons permit? Apparently not, or it would have been mentioned. If he didn’t, then the arrest was warranted, the sherrif is guilty, and the governor is just doing his job correctly.

    • Hoimaha Coin says:

      can you point out in the constitution where is says i need a permit please i canst seem to find it and i guess i need some help

    • Pat says:

      Natural law supersedes statues and codes it is a natural right given by the creator to protect ones right. The second amendment is a restriction placed on the government.

      • Ed Reilly says:

        Yea well Good Luck with that one in Court….Lawyers have been trying for years w/o any Luck. The Law in the State of Florida allows for a Resident Citizen to Carry Concealed with a Permit (after being checked for Background). If that bothers you go live in a neighborhood where all the Gang Bangers have Illegal Guns, then maybe you’d have an appreciation for the Law.

    • I think you are confused. Requiring a license, permit, permission from the government to own & carry a firearm is an infringement of the 2nd Amendment. No where does the Constitution give the government the authority to impose restrictions on our Right to keep and bear arms. That the government has done so and has been backed up by SCOTUS does not mean those laws are valid or Constitutional. In fact, because they violate the Constitution, they are NOT laws at all.

  38. ccfonten says:

    On one note to Florida voters: what in the heck is wrong with you guys? Your last three governors have touted themselves as conservative and Republican, and then get into office and become turncoats!
    This sheriff needs to be supported!!!! Let this self-serving RINO/dem(wit) know of your support for the sheriff!

    • April Knight says:

      I did vote for him, but he has shown himself to be untrustworthy. I decided long ago to not vote for him again in 2014. He caved on Obamacare and every other promise he made during his campaign. I had to laugh just 2 mornings ago when he came on the news to declare that he is still a conservative republican. This story truly doesn’t surprise me coming from this governor. I will be watching this case closely because I’m a proud gun owner and don’t want to loose my rights.

  39. Eugene Waycaster says:

    All the hype about a armed march on DC. All the hype about how law enforcment should uphold their oaths. This Sheriff stood up for the 2nd Amendment. Where are the people that should stand up for the Sheriff. The sheriff is a elected official. Why have the people of that county allowed him to be fired an locked up. The sad truth is the vast majority dont have the courage or the fortitude to follow up with what they say thay will do. The Sheriff followed up with what he believed in. Where are the residents of the County at?….crickets……

  40. Wow. As time goes on, I am feeling like I have more to say, but can’t quite figure out the correct way to say it, so my response gets shorter and shorter.. Wow is all I’ve got this time, soon it will just be a bird.. *sigh*

  41. Did the man have a CCP? If so, why the charges? The sherrif sounds like a good man but even he is not above the law. Hope he acted wisely. Cant give the gun nazi’s any ammo.

  42. Steve says:

    Without knowing the procedure for dropping charges in Florida, it is difficult to pass judgement. While I admire the Sheriff for standing up for the citizen’s rights, I’m not sure destroying or modifying documents was the way to do it.

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