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Charter County Can’t Use Citizens Review Board to Review Alleged Misconduct by Deputy Sheriffs
Local Government Law Blog
Written by Becky Vose   
Wednesday, August 26 2009 16:27

This case is so new (as of August, 2009) it is not yet released for publication, but it is extremely important – particularly to charter counties.  Orange County had provided in their charter and ordinances for a “citizen review board” to investigate citizen complaints against the Sheriff’s Office.  Because the Sheriff is a constitutional officer, and because the Orange County Charter never abolished the office, (as it has a right to do), the 5th DCA held that the county has no right to investigate citizen complaints against Deputy Sheriffs.

The basis for the decision is that a charter county can abolish a constitutional office, but if that is not done, the county can’t try to take over just some of the functions of the office.  Basically, the rule is – all or nothing – abolish the office or leave it alone.  Demings, Sheriff of Orange County v. Orange County Citizens Review Board, 2009 WL 1490778 (Fla. 5th DCA 2009).

 
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