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Sheriff Daniels apologizes for 'embarrassment' he caused

Clay County sheriff accused woman he was involved with romantically of stalking

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A day after breaking his silence to News4Jax about an extramarital affair, Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels issued a public apology for the embarrassment his behavior has caused.

Daniels has accused a Jacksonville corrections officer, who was his one-time lover and his subordinate while he was chief of the Duval County jail, of stalking him following an incident earlier this month.

"I want to take the time to acknowledge a series of personal incidents. I have, in the past, made decisions in my personal life that I truly regret. I sincerely apologize for the embarrassment my past personal decisions have caused," Daniels said Friday.

WATCH: Uncut interview with Sheriff Darryl Daniels

"My family has asked that I not discuss private matters in public, so I will not be commenting further on the personal aspects of this issue," he added.

No criminal charges were filed against Cierra Smith, who told News4Jax her relationship with Daniels began in 2013 when she was a 21-year-old corrections officer and he was 48 and in charge of running the Duval County jail. She said their intimacy continued in recent months, though it has since soured.

Smith, who married another man, said the relationship became a problem when her husband reported it to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. She said that disclosure led to her being jettisoned to desk duty last September. But Smith maintains that she and Daniels were never intimate while on duty.

WATCH: Uncut interview with Cierra Smith

Smith provided News4Jax with a list of 88 transactions she received through a mobile app, totaling $30,700 dollars. The list showed transactions in various amounts made periodically from Jan. 20, 2018, through March 29, 2019. The transactions on the list ranged from $20 all the way up to $1,400.

Daniels filed a report May 6 accusing Smith of stalking him with a gun in her car. He said she followed him in a "manner that caused him great concern." Deputies resisted an order from Daniels to arrest Smith, citing a lack of probable cause, according to a State Attorney's Office document.

A Florida Department of Law Enforcement spokesperson has confirmed that the agency has launched a preliminary investigation into Daniels. The spokesperson said FDLE was initially provided information by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and has since received additional information.

About the Author:

Specializes in Clay County issues, general assignment reporting and stories off the beaten path and anchors weekend evening newscasts.