Vermillion Files: ASO Now Open To Lawsuits
Former Captain Keith Vermillion left the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office for the last time as an employee at around 11:30 Monday morning after a hearing with the Sheriff.
At the 10-minute hearing, he made one final request: That Sheriff Sadie Darnell allow him to submit his resignation rather than outright fire him.
Darnell decided to grant this last request, according to spokesperson Art Forgey, so now, officially, Vermillion resigned—even though the Sheriff had every intention of firing him anyway.
The Sheriff’s Office will now turn over all five internal investigations to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Forgey said, which will decide if Vermillion can maintain his law enforcement credentials and apply for other jobs.
While it may seem like “case closed” at the Sheriff’s Office, at least one of those internal investigations explicitly claims Vermillion’s behavior has left the agency open to being sued.
The way Vermillion handled evidence in the case of Wayne Thigpen, a convicted pedophile, involved making copies of sensitive photographs of his wife, who had committed no crime.
He even says his actions violated a judge’s order, opening him up to contempt of court charges.
"You just violated a judge's order," he said in testimony. "You could probably be held in contempt of court, I would think."
This fact appears to have been lost on the St. John’s County Sheriff’s Deputies who conducted the criminal investigation into allegations against Vermillion.
While interrogating Vermillion, the detectives said they didn’t think they needed to talk to him about his handling of the Thigpen case at all, and laughed:
SJSO Detective Kevin Cronin: "So there was nothing they could do, but I did speak to her on the phone and she was able to confirm that."
SJSO Detective Howard Cole: "And that's documented in the report."
SJSO Detective Kevin Cronin: "[inaudible] I don't know if you need to say anything about this at all [laughter]"
Capt. Keith Vermillion: "Who was the complainant on that?"
The Sheriff’s Office said they do not intend to conduct any further criminal investigation into Vermillion’s behavior.
Spokeswoman Becky Butscher said in an interview last week that ASO stands by the criminal investigation conducted by Saint John’s County Sheriff's Office.
Click these links for more information regarding Vermillion’s behavior at ASO and the criminal investigation conducted by St. John’s County Sheriff’s Office.
- ASO Captain Keith Vermillion terminated amidst agency turmoil
- Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell: Full Interview
- ASO Major to be demoted for failure to supervise
- Sheriff Sadie Darnell Responds to Keith Vermillion Resignation
- Docs: ASO Duplicates Services to Circumvent ICAC
- ASO Captain Keith Vermillion Suspended
- Vermillion Files: Who Knew What and When?
- Fellows Retires, Sheriff Discusses Deputies Perception of Vermillion
- Sheriff Darnell Responds to Mike Fellows Investigation
- Major Fellows' Investigation Released