Six Candidates Have 'Clean Records' To 'Not So Much'
LABELLE, FL. -- The six candidates for Hendry Sheriff have one thing in common, a desire to get the top county law enforcement job at the November elections. But a check of the law enforcement work history for each shows some interesting differences among the six candidates for Hendry Sheriff.
Mark R. Chamberlain, 47 has been with the Palm Beach Sheriff's office since November 1, 1985, according to FDLE and Sheriff's office records.
Matthew A. Beatty, 46 was a Hendry County auxiliary deputy from September 25, 1982 to November 2, 1988 then began work as a Policeman with the Clewiston Police Department July 7, 2010.
Hendry Sheriff Steven H. Whidden, 40, youngest of the candidates, began service with the Hendry Sheriff's office November 8, 1999 and left on March 11, 2005. He joined the Clewiston Police March 17, 2005 and left there September 8, 2008. He came back to the Hendry Sheriff's office January 6, 2009.
Raymond A. Van Houten, 50 was with the Lake Worth Police Department from October 19, 1987 to July 16, 1988. He went to the Seminole Police Department in Pinellas county November 27, 1991 and left January 7, 1996. On March 1, 1997 he went to the Cape Coral Police Department retiring from there August 29, 2002. He quickly joined the Glades County Sheriff's office September 1, 2002 and left on March 17, 2003 on an "extended leave of absence" and rejoined October 27, 2003 and left again October 6, 2005. He joined the Lee County Sheriff's office October 10, 2005.
Steven Maldonado, 48 joined the Riviera Beach Police Department January 24, 1994 working part-time, and then full-time on November 6, 1994. He left February 9, 1997. He went to the Pahokee Police Department December 13, 2000 part-time and left after three weeks on January 4, 2001. He worked for the Hendry Sheriff beginning January 3, 2001 until December 31, 2004.
Note: An error appeared in the previous story, which it appears a different "Steven Maldonado" from Hendry county was located. We apologize for the error.
Maldonado had been accused of using excess force as a police officer in Hendry county during a shooting, with a case opened February 28, 2005. The case was cleared and charges dismissed April 13, 2006 with no discipline imposed. On October 17, 1996 he was accused of assault and later the charge was dismissed and the case closed June 27, 1997 with a "letter of guidance" issued and no disciplinary action taken.
Eliberto Carmona, 59 and the oldest of the candidates, began with the Hendry Sheriff June 10, 1982 as an auxiliary deputy and then became a full-time correctional officer December 6, 1982 but failed to complete basic recruit training and left January 19, 1983. He was re-hired June 21, 1983 as a correctional officer and on October 8, 1984 as a part-time deputy and became a full-time deputy January 22, 1986. He left January 2, 2001. He joined the Pahokee Police Department April 16, 2001 and left five weeks later on May 25, 2001.
Carmona was arrested in Hendry county on February 16, 1998 for battery. The case was dropped two weeks later. A temporary injunction was filed against him by his wife February 19, 1998 and dismissed a week later. Court records show he was divorced April 16, 2001 the same day he started work at the Pahokee Police Department.
Court records show a suggestion of bankruptcy was filed at the Hendry courthouse July 2005.
He started back with the Hendry Sheriff February 14, 2005 and left January 6, 2009. He joined the Okeechobee Sheriff's Office February 1, 2009.