We expect our elected officials to be truthful; especially the position of Sheriff. Everyone from ordinary citizens to the entire judicial system depend upon law enforcement officials to be straightforward and accurate. It is imperative that the sheriff set the tone for honesty and integrity at the Leon County Sheriff Office (LCSO).
As a retired Colonel with other veterans who have served our country with pride and honor, we pay close attention when people running for office invoke the name of a military branch of service or advertise how they served our great country.
Sheriff Larry Campbell has verbally stated that he was a “Platoon Sergeant” on many occasions. The most recent being on the September 25, 2012 WFSU Perspectives Radio Show when Mr. Campbell stated”…I was a Sergeant in the Marine Corps “
Mr. Campbell has also documented on official LCSO, Florida Sheriff’s Association and his campaign websites that he was a “Platoon Sergeant” in the United States Marines Corps.
We decided to validate Mr. Campbell’s “Platoon Sergeant” statement using a Freedom of Information Act inquiry. The inquiry revealed that Mr. Campbell served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve from October 25, 1959 to October 24, 1967 and that Mr. Campbell attained the rank of Corporal (E-4) and not “Sergeant.” For those that may not know, the rank of Sergeant is higher and more prestigious than that of a Corporal.
In other words, Mr. Campbell was Never a Sergeant. His military records indicate that his highest rank he attained was Corporal (E-4). We want Sheriff Campbell to explain his actions on why he felt that it was acceptable to embellish his rank and state he was a Sergeant. We also want to know if Mr. Campbell ever asserted he was a Marine Corps “Sergeant” when testifying under oath. We assume Mr. Campbell would not condone LCSO deputies embellishing their rank during official business.
The embellishment of Mr. Campbell’s military rank is not the only area we found a problem. Again, Mr. Campbell has stated and documented on official websites that he completed a “double major” at FSU in “Criminology and Abnormal Psychology.” However, official records from FSU demonstrate that Mr. Campbell did not complete coursework to obtain a double major but has a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree awarded on August 12, 1965 in Social Welfare.
To make matters worse, on Facebook, one website and in a previous verbal statement Mr. Campbell said and/or inferred that he has a Master’s Degree from the University of Virginia while on other websites Mr. Campbell does not include the Master’s Degree. There appears to be clear information that Mr. Campbell received some college credits only (unknown if graduate level) for the FBI National Academy class he attended in 1972. Documentation from a degree verifier shows Mr. Campbell attained no graduate degree from the University of Virginia and had “enrollment only.”
This pattern of untruthful behavior is unacceptable and has us wondering what other areas Mr. Campbell has been dishonest about.
Colonel Cedric F. Wingate, Sr., USA (Ret)
William “Cobra” Staubs, U.S. Navy (Honorable Discharge)