Residents have mixed emotions after Sheriff Daniels' affair

By Corley Peel - Reporter

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. - After learning of an affair between Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels and a female corrections officer with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, some Clay County residents found the news upsetting, while others felt it doesn't change who Daniels is as a leader.

Cierra Smith was arrested earlier this month and accused of stalking Daniels after the two had a lengthy relationship. She came forward Thursday and spoke to News4Jax about the affair, which she said began in 2013 when she was a JSO corrections officer and Daniels was chief of the jail.

As word of the affair made its way around Clay County, some said they still support Daniels.

“I don’t think it's really affecting his way to do his job," said Clay County resident Dan Teahan. "I think he’s doing a fine job in the county.”

"Every politician has some secret," said Clay County resident Vada Suggs. "It really doesn't upset me at all about it."

Michaela Barclay, a Clay County resident, said she was disappointed when she heard about the affair.

“Before this, I’ve been really supportive of him, especially because of what he’s been doing about the drugs here in Clay County," Barclay said.

News4Jax met Daniels and his wife at Jacksonville International Airport on Thursday.

"Nothing has impacted my ability to be the sheriff. I'm still committed to the job that we do in Clay County," Daniels said. "I guess this almost increases my resolve to do a better job as a sheriff."

Cierra Smith sat down with News4Jax, she said, to set the record straight.

"I will say that what I have done, on my own, I can own up (to) and I can apologize (for) and say what I have done, that was wrong of me," Smith said. "I should not have done it."

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