By Susan Hardee Steger
January 18, 2018 6:30 p.m.
State Attorney’s Office for the Fourth Judicial Circuit dismissed a number of cases after Nassau County Deputy Kyle Tholl’s employment was terminated by the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office. According to one of seven disposition statements received by the Fernandina Observer, Deputy Tholl has allegedly “falsified reports.”
Sheriff Bill Leeper told the Fernandina Observer that Tholl, a three year veteran, was terminated on December 20, 2017 for “integrity and trust issues.” According to Leeper, “An active criminal investigation, as well as an internal administrative investigation,” is underway.
Although more than seven cases have been dismissed, the seven disposition statements received from David Chapman, Communications Manager for the State Attorney’s Office, show Tholl as the “stopping deputy’ that involved violations ranging from no seat belt, driving with high beams, failing to completely stop, and failing to maintain a single lane. All seven individuals ended up with drug violation charges ranging from possession of a controlled substances, to possession with intent to sell and manufacture.
Five statements noted vehicles were stopped by Tholl, and charges filed with no video and audio obtained. One statement indicated a defendant made admissions to Tholl but there was no audio to confirm.
A general summary of the reason for the seven case dismissals follows:
- Deputy Tholl was terminated from employment.
- There are credibility issues.
- Tholle is a critical witness to the case.
- Any testimony given by Tholl would be unreliable.
- Therefore, the State cannot proceed with criminal charges.
Sheriff Leeper wrote in his response for information, “I expect our employees to be held to a high standard of honesty, integrity, and professionalism and if those are compromised in any way, I have an obligation to our citizens, the public and our agency to make sure our integrity is safeguarded. The oath we take are words that sets us apart from all other professions. It takes a special person to live up to them and unfortunately, some fall short.”