Controversy Surrounds Sheriff's Captain Demotion
A top member of the Alachua County Sheriff's Office administration has been demoted, and this isn't the first controversial personnel change to take place since Sadie Darnell has become sheriff.
Jim Troiano has been employed by the sheriff's office since 1988, and was promoted to Captain almost two years ago, but he has now been demoted from captain to lieutenant, and re-assigned to the patrol division.
Darnell says he represents the agency very well in public, but that it's a different story behind closed doors.
But Troiano denies he's done anything wrong, and is now asking the sheriff for a complaint review board.
Despite having a clean personnel file for the last 19 years, Troiano is now facing some serious claims.
"Micro-management, treating people disrespectfully, treating them to the point that some of them felt de-moralized. Seemed a trend with subordinates or people with lesser rank than him," said Darnell.
Accusations started to come to light when a longtime civilian employee of the sheriff's office retired in July, and had an exit interview with Sheriff Darnell.
The employee "perceived" Troiano to be a bad supervisor, even though she didn't work under him.
A 17-page-long report of Darnell's findings includes interviews with several people who aren't pleased with Troiano's treatment of them or their co-workers, but one person who was not interviewed was Troiano himself.
"The law calls for, if an officer is under investigation, he or she should be notified that they are under investigation and then given an opportunity to address those concerns. Captain Troiano was never informed he was under investigation," said his attorney, Gloria Fletcher.
Darnell asked Troiano to sign a three-page-long list of ways he could improve, but because he wasn't given the chance to give a rebuttal, he refused to sign it.
It's been rumored for years that Troiano wants to someday run for sheriff, but he says if it happens, it won't be next year - when Darnell is up for re-election.
So is the demotion linked to those rumors?
"No, this has absolutely nothing to do with politics. this has to do with performances and deficiencies, especially in management style. Jim and I have worked together very well. I think very highly of him except in this regard of his interpersonal skills and management skills," said Darnell.
Troiano is not the first person to be demoted or fired during Darnell's administration.
Colonel Emery Gainey, Sergeant Chad Scott, and Major Robert Chapman, are some others, just to name a few.
Still, Darnell says she's not on a witch hunt, she just needs staff members who she can trust to do a good job.
By David Hamilton/WCJB TV 20 News
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