Loretta Lynn famously sang, "Stand by your man, and tell the world you love him." But Denise Daniels ain't buying it. In the latest twist in the ongoing scandal engulfing the Clay County Sheriff's Office, Sheriff Darryl Daniels' wife has filed for divorce. Folio Weekly has obtained an electronic record of the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage requested by Denise Daniels from the Duval County Clerk of Courts on July 26.
Readers will recall the recent sex scandal that turned into an abuse-of-power scandal. News broke after Daniels issued his officers a dubious order to arrest a woman named Cierra Smith on May 6. Turns out, Smith is the sheriff's mistress of several years, and the bizarre arrest seems to have been improvised to save face in front of Denise Daniels, who had evidently just discovered her husband's infidelity.
Since then, Daniels has endured the antiseptic sunlight of a free and independent press as well as the probing of a Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation. He has responded to events with determination. The sheriff appears resolved, against all odds, to ride out this storm and pursue his future political projects, which reportedly include running for reelection and ultimately higher office. To help rehabilitate his image, Daniels employs a robust staff of Public Information Officers (double the number of JSO, which is three times as large as CCSO). He also recently contracted an external PR firm to "solidify" his "branding." Time will tell if divorce—and its fallout—damages said brand.