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02-24-2011, 09:36 AM
Is this still valid law?

Mack, 358 So.2d 822 (Fla. 1978), correctly states that a deputy sheriff holds office by appointment rather than by employment.

FSS: 112.535 Construction.--The provisions of chapter 93-19, Laws of Florida, shall not be construed to restrict or otherwise limit the discretion of the sheriff to take any disciplinary action, without limitation, against a deputy sheriff, including the demotion, reprimand, suspension, or dismissal thereof, nor to limit the right of the sheriff to appoint deputy sheriffs or to withdraw their appointment as provided in chapter 30. Neither shall the provisions of chapter 93-19, Laws of Florida, be construed to grant collective bargaining rights to deputy sheriffs or to provide them with a property interest or continued expectancy in their appointment as a deputy sheriff.
History.--s. 6, ch. 93-19.

Federal courts have ruled that sheriff deputies do NOT have a legal right to continued employment under the Florida police officer bill of rights. You can read about it in section 97.021(3), 106.011(16) FSS.

In 1992, the Florida legislature specifically stated that in section 112.532(2) does NOT apply to Florida sheriff deputies.

The horror stories that you hear are true.

Has anything changed since this case in Brevard County. I can't find anything on the results of a lawsuit, or if one was ever filed:

Current, Former Employees Suing Brevard County Sheriff's Office

POSTED: 5:32 p.m. EDT April 20, 2005
UPDATED: 5:32 p.m. EDT April 20, 2005
Story by wftv.com

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The new regime isn't mixing with the old at the Brevard County Sheriff's Office. Nine current and former employees are suing the new sheriff, claiming he punished them because they supported his opponent in the last election.

"I ask for accountability, I ask for justice," said former employee Deborah Barker.

Barker was the chief financial director for the Brevard County Sheriff's Office. But, she says, her vocal support of sheriff candidate Wayne Torpy put an end to that. When Sheriff Jack Parker took over office, she was told her position was eliminated.

"To be removed from my position for whom I chose as a candidate was absolutely wrong," Barker said.

Barker is one of nine Brevard County Sheriff's Office employees who say they were terminated or demoted under Parker. After a waiting period of 180 days, the group can file suit against Parker unless, of course, a settlement is reached first.

Edward Smith, 63, says he was removed from his command position only to be offered a job on patrol.

"It's mentally devastating to an individual for those things to happen and know they did nothing wrong," said Smith.

Channel 9 called the sheriff's department Wednesday to talk with Parker, who declined because of the pending lawsuit. But he did release a statement through his attorney that, among other things, states that personnel decisions were made without regard to potential support or affiliation.

Attorney Gregory Eisenmenger certainly isn't convinced.

"The idea that Sheriff Parker is unaware of the law, [that the] type of action that he took is proper, is simply ridiculous," said Eisenmenger.

The attorney representing the clients says he's talked to at least 20 people with some sort of grounds for action, leaving open the possibility that this dispute is growing. Eisenmenger says there could also be a federal lawsuit based on civil rights violations and there is no waiting period to file that suit.

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Bart04-21-2005, 02:38 PM
that crap happens every time a new sheriff comes to town. ive never been a fan of elected officials having anything to do with law enforcement. the ideal set up is like the one at miami dade PD. have a chief appointed and he stays there until he fuks up or quits. in addition, every officer from deputy chief all the way to officer is given civil service protection. the sheriff's offices down here need to get with the times.

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HCSO51104-21-2005, 02:47 PM
im with bart. that type of thing has been going on forever. if not dismissed or demoted because of the candidate you supported it can happen because someone getting payback for campaign support wants your job. and if they cant just boot you out of your position they can find a way with a little time and patience. everybody makes mistakes. and the first one a person makes that could be easily overlooked will be used to demote you or let you go. in a way you can find yourself at the mercy of any boss you work for. i now work for a pretty good honost sheriff. to my knowledge no one has ever been demoted or let go just becuase someone was more popular or better friends with the sheriff, but ive worked where it works that way and it can get pretty rediculous. i will not work for a sheriff that is like again if i can help it.

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Slippery Pete04-21-2005, 03:22 PM
I haven't worked long enough to go through an election, but I figure when the time comes I'll just keep my mouth shut about it.

I do like having the sheriff elected directly by the people. A sheriff is a politician, of course. But he is (or at least was) a regular cop, too. He's directly accountable to the voters. I really don't like the idea of a mayor (who is only a politician) that knows nothing about law enforcement picking the most PC bureaucrat he can find to run the PD. I haven't worked for a city, but my impression is that a lot of mayors (mainly in big cities) make stupid policies and expect the chief to enforce them. They seem to always become a defacto chief, without any experience or knowledge to back it up.

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Bart04-21-2005, 04:18 PM
I haven't worked long enough to go through an election, but I figure when the time comes I'll just keep my mouth shut about it.

smart man.


I do like having the sheriff elected directly by the people. A sheriff is a politician, of course. But he is (or at least was) a regular cop, too.

that doesnt always happen. i live in broward county and the sheriff here was a lawyer/politician prior to becoming sheriff. he has no street experience whatsoever.


He's directly accountable to the voters. I really don't like the idea of a mayor (who is only a politician) that knows nothing about law enforcement picking the most PC bureaucrat he can find to run the PD. I haven't worked for a city, but my impression is that a lot of mayors (mainly in big cities) make stupid policies and expect the chief to enforce them. They seem to always become a defacto chief, without any experience or knowledge to back it up.

being appointed by the mayor or voted in by the general public doesnt make that much of a difference. at least the chief who's appointed by the mayor doesnt have to kowtow to voters ever election as opposed to the sheriff who makes campaign promises to his constituents even if it means hurting his deputies.

the main difference between employees of sheriff's offices and PD's is the career service protections. deputies serve at the will of the sitting sheriff. city cops usually have civil service rights. as it stands now, in florida, only a few counties provide civil service protections to deputies. call me crazy but i feel all deputies deserve as much protections as city cops and id like to see legislation put in place to make that

02-24-2011, 01:25 PM
Are Deputies Employed or Appointed?
Most Florida deputies are appointed and can be fired without cause. However, the "career service bill" that was signed by Sheriff Geoff Monge (retired) gives SSO employees some recourse if they are fired or if they are suspended for 41+ hours. If they are suspended for 40 or less hours, then SSO employees have no recourse.

When Monge was a deputy, Sheriff Hardcastle (retired) fired him without cause (for political reasons). That pissed off Monge, so he ran for sheriff and won. Monge never forgot how unfair it was to be fired without cause, so he signed-off on the "career service bill" to give SSO employees some employment rights.

The "career service bill" was enacted by the Florida legislature, but not all sheriff offices participate in it. Also, there aren't any statutory penalties for not following the career service bill, so if a sheriff suddenly changes his mind and decides that he's not going to honor it...

02-24-2011, 03:36 PM
Is this still valid law?

Mack, 358 So.2d 822 (Fla. 1978), correctly states that a deputy sheriff holds office by appointment rather than by employment.

FSS: 112.535 Construction.--The provisions of chapter 93-19, Laws of Florida, shall not be construed to restrict or otherwise limit the discretion of the sheriff to take any disciplinary action, without limitation, against a deputy sheriff, including the demotion, reprimand, suspension, or dismissal thereof, nor to limit the right of the sheriff to appoint deputy sheriffs or to withdraw their appointment as provided in chapter 30. Neither shall the provisions of chapter 93-19, Laws of Florida, be construed to grant collective bargaining rights to deputy sheriffs or to provide them with a property interest or continued expectancy in their appointment as a deputy sheriff.
History.--s. 6, ch. 93-19.

When I was hired, I was initially placed on dayshift because that's where the vacency was, so I got an opportunity to work it and to see what it's like. The dayshifters (old timers) would find shade trees and park and would not do anything self-initiated. They gave me a lot of lectures about making too many traffic stops and too much self-initiated activity. All the old timers said that self-initiated activity only leads to trouble. It's interesting that just about all the old timers who have almost made it to retirement all seem to understand that the less contact they have with citizens = less chances of getting complained on. Complaints aren't good, even if they're false because they draw attention, which is bad if you work for an elected sheriff. If deputies are appointed by an elected sheriff with no employment rights, then their lack of activity equals job security. I think I'm finally starting to get it. The one think I have NEVER done is laugh at old timers because they still have jobs after 20 or 25 years.

02-24-2011, 05:14 PM
I have become an old timer and here is what I've learned:

Being overly proactive always generates complaints. Complaints will always lead to investigations and eventually lead to your pink slip. I've seen it over and over again.

Being overly proactive will put you in harms way more often. It could be from a gunshot, or a car wreck, or a wrestle match with an HIV puke, or as simple as a twisted ankle from a foot pursuit. Why bring more risk to your life? Light duty at the desk sucks. Don't drive too fast (I see rookies do this all too often), show respect to everyone you have contact with (people have been killed for lack of respect), wear your vest, and don't become complacent.

Write good reports and do solid investigations.

Maintain the peace, and write a few tickets and FI's to keep the brass off your back.

Take the calls in your zone and have zone integrity.

Keep your car clean and your uniform pressed.

You will make exactly the same amount of money as GI Joe cop and you will make it to 25 years to enjoy your pension. There is more to life than being a cop.

P.S. Shade trees are good.

02-24-2011, 08:15 PM
P.S. Shade trees are good

Except the big spiders that end up on or in your car.

Take your calls, don't milk them. Do the violations you see and write a few UTCs. Bang out a few FI's and back your zone partner up.

Be nice until it is time to not be nice.

Bottom line, use common sense, rely on your training and be safe.

02-25-2011, 03:21 PM
Your looking at case law from 1978. Find the case law that gives Florida Deputy Sheriffs the right for collecting barganing and can no longer be fired without just cause. That one is only a couple of years old

02-25-2011, 03:54 PM
The latest case is 2005 and supports the old case law.

Unless you can find something newer, your screwed.

The Sheriff can fire any deputy for any reason with no recourse.

If you find something to the contrary, post it here.

02-26-2011, 03:34 PM
What about our Union? We are Career Service so those laws appear to be contradicting themselves? Ive never been worried about loosing my job for over 20 years. I just do it as I am trained but I get what your getting at.

02-26-2011, 04:25 PM
What about our Union? We are Career Service so those laws appear to be contradicting themselves? Ive never been worried about loosing my job for over 20 years. I just do it as I am trained but I get what your getting at.

Very few of the general orders are included in our union contract. A union rep can correct me if I'm wrong, but this is my understanding:


The union requested to make our general orders part of our union contract, but the administration refused because once it becomes a contract, then it can't be changed by management without union consultation. Management wants the flexibility to be able to change our general orders without having to consult the union.

Management can change the general orders at any time, but they can't alter a union contract at any time. That's the difference.