Chief Deputy Chuck Powell Out - Philosophical Differences Says Sheriff
LABELLE, FL. -- On Thursday, July 23, 2009 Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden announced the promotion of Lt. Kevin Nelson to the position of Chief Deputy, replacing Chuck Powell.
Sheriff Steve Whidden stated the decision regarding former Chief Deputy Chuck Powell was made due to philosophical differences in management between himself and Powell. ''It is not personal, but rather a decision that needed to be made in order to run a well-organized agency. I wish Chuck the best in his future endeavors,'' said Whidden.
According to a press release issued by the Sheriff, ''In an effort to continue to guide his department through this change in command, Sheriff Whidden believes that (former) Lt. Kevin Nelson embodies the values, experience, and knowledge needed to run a productive and efficient agency. Chief Deputy Kevin Nelson shares the same concerns as Sheriff Whidden during these difficult economic times. Together we will strive to provide the best level of service possible to the citizens of Hendry County.''
Sheriff Whidden said Thursday in an address to his department ''regarding this recent change that the decision to replace Former Chief Chuck Powell was in an effort to ensure that this agency excels not just for now, but for many years to come and that has to start with you having faith in not only me but the entire administration.''
Chief Nelson began his career in 1981 with the Collier County Sheriff's Office and retired in 2004 with 24 years experience, 19 of those were at the Administration and budgeting level (multimillion dollar budget), 16 at the Command level and 15 years with countywide experience. Chief Nelson is civically involved in the Rotary Club of LaBelle as President, Chamber of Commerce Director and LaBelle Masonic Lodge District Deputy Grand Master. Chief Nelson is a Florida Attorney General�s Office certified Crime Prevention Specialist.
Sheriff Whidden expressed to his employees, ''I only expect you to do your job to the best of your ability at all times. I expect that when you come into contact with civilians that you are courteous and polite, and do your job.''
Former Chief Deputy Powell, a resident of Glades county in the Port LaBelle Ranchettes, helped Sheriff Whidden in his successful election campaign last year.