Updated 6:20 p.m. 9/21
“He’s very pleased. He’s glad to see this behind him. He’s ready to move on and serve the citizens of Wakulla County and he does a great job of it,” said Fred Conrad, Sheriff David Harvey’s attorney.
State Attorney Willie Meggs says Harvey did not violate Florida law, which says no Sheriff can be employed, own stock in or an interest in a business that sells alcohol. Harvey’s wife Rhonda is listed as an owner of the Wildwood Country Club.
In his report, Meggs refers to an Attorney General’s opinion in a similar case. “The Attorney General is of the opinion that a spouse can have an interest in a beverage and the husband, or other spouse be a law enforcement officer.”
Harvey is a member of several Wildwood corporations, but his wife is the one who is the member of Wildwood Golf Operation LLC, which is the holder of the beverage license.
During the course of the investigation Wakulla County residents have challenged Meggs involvement, asking Governor Charlie Crist to get involved and perhaps assign an independent prosecutor. But Meggs insists that the outcome of the investigation was based on facts, and the law.
“Everybody’s entitled to their opinion about everything, but opinions have nothing to do with this and it’s just a matter of looking at what I believe to be the law and apply it and I didn’t need another prosecutor or anyone else to come in and look at what we were doing,” said Meggs.
He went on to say, “I think this is a situation in Wakulla County and it’s a little bit unfortunate. But he [Harvey] was elected in a very close election. There are those who think that Sheriff Harvey can do no wrong. There are just a little bit less than 50% who think he can do nothing right and so I think probably that will be the history of his term in office. That some folks want him gone and some want him to stay and right now there’s a few more that want him to stay. But we didn’t make that decision based on what people want, we made that decision based on the facts of the investigation and what I believe to be the law.”
Harvey’s attorney says that Sheriff Harvey has been open and forthright in everything that he’s done with the respect to his investment in Wildwood Country Club, “In this particular case he sought advice from lawyers and experts and consultants before he even thought about investing in the Country Club. He set it up the way lawyers and consultants told him to do it. There’s nothing illegal, there’s nothing sinister here. He didn’t try to hide anything. He did it all above board and it’s a simple business transaction.”
To read the entire investigative report, click on the link above.
State Attorney Willie Meggs says he will not prosecute Wakulla County Sheriff David Harvey regarding his involvement with Wildwood Country Club.
Sheriff Harvey’s wife Rhonda was listed as an owner of the Wildwood Country Club. In Florida it’s against the law for a Sheriff to be employed, own stock or an interest in a business that sells alcohol.
The Wildwood Country Club was given its liquor license on November 10,2005.
We will have more information on WCTV.TV and on eyewitness news later on this evening.