Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Hendry Sheriff - Who Needs This Job?

Wealthy Candidates Vs. Others

LABELLE, FL. -- A look at the financial disclosure statements filed at the Hendry Supervisor of Elections office in LaBelle gives a revealing look at the assets, income and liabilities of Hendry's candidates for county Sheriff.

According to their sworn statements, Kevin Nelson and Rick Hornsby and the wealthiest candidates for Sheriff...both are millionaires. Nelson shows a net worth of $1,509,987 consisting of real estate properties.  Nelson reports his annual income as $118,700.

Rick Hornsby has a net worth of $1,190,400, according to his filing. Hornsby also a real estate owner, has interests in several businesses including Clewiston's skydiving operation at Airglades Airport. His income is $92,500

Sheriff Ronnie Lee reports a net worth of $424,882 and an income of $168,286. Income includes his Sheriff salary of $107,864, and two retirement incomes totalling $60,422.

Steve Whiddon at the other extreme in net worth numbers, is an apparent victim of the recent downturn in real estate values. He owns a house worth $145,540 but has outstanding loans totaling $225,000 making his net worth a minus $65,460. Whiddon has an income of $43,305.

Fred Dyess, Jr. has apparently failed to fill out his sworn disclosure statements properly. He states a $330,000 net worth but only shows $15,000 in household goods and fails to disclose what the other $270,000 in other assets are. He states he had a $76,720 income.

Florida law requires sworn full disclosure of all assets and liabilities from all candidates and office holders. Penalties for failure can include civil fines up to $10,000 and removal from office or from the ballot.

Sheriff candidate Raul Fernandez, the only Latino candidate, shows a net worth of $31,000 and an income of $86,105.

All candidate and office holder financial statements are public records available at the Supervisor of Elections office.


  1. Anonymous2:18 PM

    It would suggest that for the millionares this is more than a sheriff job.

  2. Anonymous4:49 PM

    Thank you for bringing us this public information. It is a shame that hendry county does not have more media outlets to keep their public informed and in the sunshine. Considering he is a cop, I had some concerns about some specific supporters for mr. hornsby. Your information has helped me sort things out in my own mind.
    -Thank you.

  3. Anonymous5:31 PM

    A fiend just called me and said that Hornsby was just hanging out with the people that control montura.

  4. Anonymous5:58 PM

    I think that the image of law enforcement is compromised by campaigning and seeking supporters and votes. It is what it is, but why should anyone that will enforce laws have to seek the votes of people that would make others wonder if they are like these people.

  5. Anonymous11:02 AM

    I feel that the sheriff office should not be a party-line vote. In my case I am a republican but I feel very strongly that the best man for the job is a democrat with a proven track record in fighting crime in this county already. Law enforcement should not be a party thing because it keeps people like me from choosing our best choice in the primary and thus robs me of my choice of a worthy law enforcement chief if he needed my vote, and the votes of my family. Why can't we just all vote in one election and the one with more votes wins? The way we do it it is not "majority wins". I may never even be able to cast a vote for my choice candidate. The school board office is not a party thing. Why is this? they both impact the community as a whole.

  6. Anonymous12:04 PM

    the two rich candidates may control a million in assets but what are their liabilites? the report was only half the facts. besides since when is hard work and success a negative.

  7. The two "rich" candidates are in fact self-reported millionaires. The sworn statement adds the individuals' assets and subtracts the liablities (loans and mortgages) to show their net worth.