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FL Cabinet Settles Liberty County Budget Dispute

Liberty County Sheriff Nick Finch
Florida Sheriff's Association website

A two year fight over funding between the liberty county sheriff and the county commission showed up before the Florida Cabinet Tuesday.  State law allows sheriffs to appeal their budget if it falls short of their request.

Liberty County sheriff Nick Finch requested $1.7 million to run his department his year.  The county’s final budget came in almost $300,000 short of that mark.  Finch believes the shortfall is personal.

“The facts are I can’t tell you other than the county has their own way of approving my budget,” Finch told the Cabinet.  “If you want my personal feelings its personal.  I didn’t grow up in Liberty County, there’s people who didn’t want me to be elected sheriff in Liberty County.” 

“And unfortunately there’s members of this board of county commission that have statements to citizens outside in my county that if anyone else but nick finch was sheriff I’d give him as much money as he wanted to,” Finch said.

Finch filed a similar appeal last year as well.  The cabinet directed the county to give Finch’s office about $130,000, but warned the state auditor general would review the books if a similar dispute crops up next year.

Nick Evans came to Tallahassee to pursue a masters in communications at Florida State University. He graduated in 2014, but not before picking up an internship at WFSU. While he worked on his degree Nick moved from intern, to part-timer, to full-time reporter. Before moving to Tallahassee, Nick lived in and around the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years. He listens to far too many podcasts and is a die-hard 49ers football fan. When Nick’s not at work he likes to cook, play music and read.