An influential Republican donor and shut ally to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis who died by suicide was underneath lively investigation by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Workplace, officers stated.
“This investigation stays ongoing presently and can proceed till its completion. As with all lively investigations, there’s restricted data out there to launch presently,” Jacksonville Sheriff T. Ok. Waters informed the Florida Times-Union of Kent Stermon’s dying. “Nonetheless, as quickly as this investigation has been accomplished, all relevant data shall be out there for launch to the general public.”
Sources near the workplace informed the Occasions-Union the investigation concerned alleged sexual misconduct. Stermon was discovered lifeless in a truck at an Atlantic Seaside, Florida, publish workplace parking zone on Thursday, although foul play shouldn’t be suspected.
Stermon’s dying marked a confounding second inside Florida politics due to his shut kinship with a myriad of political figures together with DeSantis, whose political operations have obtained greater than $60,000 of his and his household’s funds. When DeSantis was iced out of his congressional district in 2016 after redistricting, he moved right into a apartment co-owned by Stermon with the intention to run once more, in accordance with a 2018 Politico story. The governor later named Stermon to his transition staff.
Stermon, who ran the protection contractor Whole Army Administration, has spent an general $140,000 in state political contributions.
“The Governor and First Woman have been shocked and saddened to listen to of Kent’s passing, and their prayers (and our whole workplace’s prayers) are together with his household throughout this troublesome time,” the governor’s workplace informed Politico, although it stated it had no prior data of the investigation.
His connections weren’t restricted to the governor’s mansion. An investigation by WJXT discovered Stermon—a prolific donor to former Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams—had an entry card to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Workplace headquarters for the final 5 years regardless of not working there.
After tons of of swipes since 2017, it stopped getting used on Nov. 15—simply after Sheriff T. Ok. Waters was sworn in as sheriff.
The disclosure was first made by legal professional John Phillips, who’s representing a former JSO deputy, on Twitter, noting a rumor that his badge entry was set to vary. It prompted a reply from, of all folks, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry. “You aren’t price a reply as you’re a media whore with no compass,” Curry wrote in a since-deleted tweet. “However you point out my buddy, Kent, and I’m compelled to answer. Pound sand, chump.”
He was additionally paid handsomely in political appointments. In 2019, DeSantis appointed Stermon to the state’s 17-member Board of Governors, the influential physique that oversees its state college system. Stermon’s appointment was set to run via 2026, in accordance with its website.
“We’re deeply saddened to listen to of the passing of Governor Kent Stermon,” the Board of Governors informed Politico. “For the final three years, Kent has served on this board with distinction. He has been a champion of upper training and pupil success in Florida and a long-time supporter of the College of North Florida in some ways all through the years. The Board of Governors sends its heartfelt condolences to Kent’s household throughout this troublesome time.”