State not charging Hendry sheriff in 2016 investigation into misconduct allegations

Writer: Lenny Smith
Published: Updated:

The state will not charge Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden after allegations of misconduct, according to the state attorney’s office.

There was a Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation into Whidden in 2016.

In 2015, a suspected hit-and-run driver called the sheriff as he got pulled over, and Whidden confirmed the call in an interview with WINK News.

Whidden also said he didn’t think the facts of the hit-and-run reached a crime. He told the deputy to take statements and forward the case to the state attorney for review.

The state attorney said the sheriff’s office never asked them to review the case, according to a 2016 investigation.

WINK News obtained documents Monday showing the FDLE did not find probable cause that Whidden acted inappropriately.

The findings go onto say the sheriff has full authority, given the actions are legal and moral, to decide if his office will investigate a crime.

Whidden provided the following statement to WINK News:

“I was recently notified that the Investigation of the complaint filed against me in 2016 is concluded with no probably cause found.”

“I acted within my authority that is granted to Sheriff’s under Chapter 30 of Florida State Statutes. I did nothing wrong.”

MORE: Prosecutors get extension in case against Hendry sheriff

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