Nick Finch discusses feeling
‘stabbed in back’ by his team
Liberty County’s suspended sheriff, Nick Finch, was back in the spotlight last week, this time on the airwaves discussing a recording made a few days prior to his arrest.
As previously reported, Finch is accused of destroying documents following the arrest of a Liberty County man charged with having a concealed weapon without a permit. Finch says he believes in Second Amendment rights and felt the man never should have been charged. Finch was arrested June 4.
Finch appeared on The Burnie Thompson Show Wednesday to discuss recent evidence that surfaced during the discovery process. According to Finch and Thompson, Jail Officer Lisa Smith, who is one of the witnesses in the Finch case, was reportedly wearing a wire the day Finch and other employees were interviewed by investigators with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).
A taped conversation Finch’s attorney reportedly provided to him was played during the radio show. The voice of Captain Wes Harsey asking who to put as sheriff is heard, followed by laughter Finch identifies as Capt. Tim Partridge, and the voice of Lt. Mark Mallory stating, “Unknown at this time.”
Although no one at the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office wished to comment on the matter, sources say Capt. Harsey was completing a warrant form and got to the portion that asked for the sheriff’s name, then made the comment about who to put as sheriff in the space on the form.
Later, Lisa Smith is heard saying, “Thank you,” reportedly as she takes the form from Capt. Harsey. He then responds, “No, thank you.”
A short time later, the group is gathered with Finch waiting to be interviewed by FDLE investigators. Finch is heard on the tape saying, “I’ve hired an attorney for y’all,” then introduces the attorney.
Capt. Partridge is heard asking, “Sheriff, what do we need an attorney for?”
During the radio show, Finch told Thompson the reason he felt a need for his officers to have an attorney. “This is a criminal witness subpoena, obviously there’s criminal allegations against somebody,” he remarked, noting they had a clue what it was about, but weren’t absolutely sure.
Finch described to radio listeners how he felt betrayed by his team.
“I had my number two guy, Capt. Wes Harsey, my number three, Capt. Tim Partridge, and my number four, Lt. Mark Mallory, stabbing me in the back and I had no idea,” Finch stated on the show.
Thompson said he shared the tape with Governor Rick Scott’s General Counsel in hopes that Gov. Scott would throw out the case since he believed it revealed evidence of a conspiracy to get rid of Finch. After listening to the tape, the General Counsel reportedly indicated to Thompson no action would be taken by the Governor’s office and the case would proceed.