Retired Army Colonel Cedric Wingate and William "Cobra" Staubs, P.I. Question Honesty and Leadership of Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell

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The Tallahassee O | Local Military Personnel and Civilian Leon County Citizens Troubled By Concerns About Honesty and Integrity of Sheriff Campbell; Claim Local Media Refused to Investigate.

For Immediate Release by The Tallahassee O (

by Tallahassee O Reporting Staff

When Retired Army Colonel Cedric Wingate heard other local military personnel and civilians questioning Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell’s claims that he’d earned the rank of Platoon Sergeant serving in the United States Marine Corps and that he held Bachelor’s Degrees in Criminology and Abnormal Psychology from Florida State University, he contacted the U.S. Military and FSU to find out for himself. The result, according to Col. Wingate, is that contrary to Campbell’s claims, he was informed by the military that, "the highest rank the Sheriff ever achieved was Corporal," and that "he only has one Bachelor’s Degree, in 'Social Welfare.'” In fact, additional research by The Tallahassee O has failed even to uncover an undergraduate or graduate-level degree program in “abnormal psychology” offered by ANY major university in the United States.

Recently, an Elections Complaint was filed against Campbell, based upon and including Col. Wingate’s research, with the Florida Elections Commission. (WCTV News coverage of the Complaint: This was the second Elections Complaint filed against Campbell this year, after a prior complaint was filed by Carl Martin, a member of the LCSO Sheriff’s Posse, who complained to the Commission of his being the victim of an attempt by an LCSO Deputy to extort a campaign contribution from him. (Click here for additional coverage of this story: ) Mr. Martin recently passed away after a long battle with cancer, and the Elections Commission responded by dismissing his Complaint.

Colonel Wingate says he went to The Tallahassee Democrat to run a paid story questioning the military and educational record of Sheriff Larry Campbell. Wingate claims that the Democrat engaged him in a back-and-forth, requiring him to make change after change to his story, and raising the price they had quoted him by hundreds of dollars. Wingate stated that "The Democrat later wanted to re-write the story to basically be a paid piece in honor of Sheriff Campbell,” contrary to the concerns of Wingate, Staubs and other citizens. And Col. Wingate isn’t alone in raising concerns about the independence of the Democrat, with recent talk on Preston Scott’s radio show about the bias of the Tallahassee Democrat during the elections seeming to indicate that a great many citizens are questioning whether the local newspaper has been bought by its advertisers. (Listen to the archived show at: .)

Honorably Discharged U.S. Navy veteran William "Cobra" Staubs, well-known for his work throughout Florida and elsewhere as a licensed Private Investigator and Bailbonds man, has heard Campbell speak at several Sheriff’s candidate forums in recent months. He, too, now questions the honesty and leadership ability of Sheriff Campbell, and he has done so in pieces he has contributed to The Tallahassee O (

At one recent Sheriff’s candidate forum, Cobra was astounded to hear Campbell suggest that he could prove his skill with a firearm by using his opponents for target practice:

"I’ve been in it fifty or more years but I assure you this, I’m not too old to cut the mustard. I’m still out there . . . I got out with my troops. I go out there and do what needs to be done. I told somebody the other day we have police standards that we have to keep up, that we have to keep our pistol proficiency up. And we have to keep our other police professional standards up. And I had invited the other candidates if they don’t think I can do it, go down and let me shoot at you and see if I can do it any good."

(For coverage and audio of Campbell’s comments, visit ThinkProgress: .)

Citizens are also questioning the millions of dollars being spent in the Sheriff's Office for overseas training as covered recently by WCTV. Several Deputies have retired shortly after the thousands of dollars that were spent in training. There was nearly $425,000 spent at LCSO for the training in Israel, Alaska and Las Vegas during 2009 and 2010 alone. The financial disclosure reports of Campbell from The Florida Ethics Commission show Campbell won $11,428 in gambling earnings last year.

The Tallahassee O Media Network has been contacted numerous times by citizens and deputies regarding the honesty and leadership of Sheriff Larry Campbell that have talked with him and worked with him in the past. The Tallahassee O has republished a series of letters from Leon County Deputies with concerns of ethic violations and crimes being committed and covered up within the Leon County Sheriff's Office.

This story along with numerous others have been in recent news headlines regarding Sheriff Larry Campbell of 16 years in which he just celebrated his 70th Birthday. Many citizens are now questioning the leadership and the two payments to Sheriff Campbell with DROP Retirement for both working and being retired.

Cobra Staubs stated from his research that "Government workers can enter the states deferred retirement program, called DROP, after working for 30 years or turning 62. After working for five to eight years in DROP, workers retire and take a lump-sum payout in addition to their regular pension. It was created in 1998 to encourage retirement of highly paid, senior employees to make room for advances among younger, lower-paid employees. The result is that one person is receiving both full pay, and a full pension, when if they REALLY retired, another person could be employed."

Most people call this double dipping. These are the concerns of the Military Personnel and the Leon County Citizens alike in which many people say that it's time for Sheriff Larry Campbell to retire again with Lisa Sprague moving the office forward into the 21st Century.

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William "Cobra" Staubs
Private Investigator, Bailbonds man
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