Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Kevin KirbyColumbia County Sheriff's Office: Kirby DUI Incident - Was the Sheriff playing it straight when his office said there were no documents?

Sheriff Mark Hunter
Sheriff Mark Hunter
(File Photo)

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – The recent DUI incident involving Columbia County's number two man, Public Works Director/Operations Manager, Kevin Kirby, has county workers in a buzz wondering what is going to happen next. While county management has been tightlipped, there are questions concerning the Sheriff's Office withholding of public documents about the incident, most notably, the Florida Highway Patrol Arrest Report. This record is a public document.

On Sunday afternoon, April 14, 2013, after receiving tips, the Observer ran a short article about the alleged DUI, Columbia County Public Works Director Charged With Drunk Driving: "FHP plays no favorites." This article reported that Mr. Kirby was arrested; gave information about the arrest; and explained about pleading down a DUI charge.

Can one be arrested and thrown in jail without documentation? The answer should be no.

Columbia County Observer requests records

The FHP Arrest Report is here. (to print, open then rt. click).

The administrative side of the Sheriff's Office was closed on Sunday, so on Monday, April 15th, at 11:00 am over the phone; also via email at 11:32 am, the Observer requested the following:  All information in possession of the Columbia County Sheriff's Office regarding the DUI incident of County Employee Kevin Kirby to include, but not limited to reports generated by the CCSO and FHP. (Emphasis in the original)

Twenty-one minutes later, the Sheriff's Office Larry Auger replied in relevant part, "Stew: I researched our records and the only document we currently have referencing this incident is the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) call sheet between dispatch and our Deputy (Lee)... at this time it is all we have (we do have a fingerprint card from his booking, but those do not get released). If you need any clarification or want to speak with someone else that can explain it a little better, send me an e-mail or call and I'll pass the request on. Larry"

Following the instructions for additional clarification, two emails were sent, one to Deputy Auger and one to Sheriff Hunter, who was also copied on the first one. There was no response to either email.

             ++ Click here to enlarge

Lake City Reporter (LCR)

In the Tuesday, April 16th edition of the LCR, beat reporter Derrick Gilliam referenced a "Florida Highway Patrol arrest report" numerous times.

Florida Highway Patrol: The Straight Shooters

On April 17th the Observer spoke with the FHP's media person, Sgt. Tracy Hisler-Pace.

The Observer asked, "When someone gets booked into the jail, there is some paper work that has to be filled out?"

Sgt. Hisler-Pace answered, "An arrest affidavit. Yes sir."

The Observer asked, "Left in the possession of the county jail?"

Sgt. Hisler-Pace answered, "Yes, as far as I know."

The Observer asked, "And that’s a public record?"

Sgt. Hisler-Pace, "Yes sir."

The Observer asked, "How do I get that from you?"

Sgt. Hisler-Pace wanted to know if I had contacted the jail. I told her I contacted the Sheriff's Office and they said they didn't have anything.

Sgt. Hisler-Pace responded, "I don’t know how to answer that. Every arrest that I’ve ever known you can obtain a copy of the arrest from the jail. That’s something you have to take up with jail. With the Sheriff."

As the conversation concluded Sgt. Hisler-Pace said the FHP had the report and that she would check with Lt. Boatright. A little while later she called back and said I could pick it up.

FHP Arrest Report - Kirby
It took two minutes to obtain the FHP Arrest Report of the Kirby incident.
                        ++ Click here to enlarge

I met with Lt. Boatright at 2:05 pm at FHP Hdq. in Lake City. The receptionist told the Lt. I was there. Two minutes later he walked into the reception area report in hand.

Lt. Boatright, "Mr. Lilker?"

I answered, "Yes."

Lt. Boatright, "I think this is what you are looking for."

The Observer, "Thank you."

It was that simple.

The substance of the FHP arrest report is easily seen. It is obvious this is the report used in the LCR article. The FHP never gave any indication that the report was asked for by the LCR, which would mean they received it from the Sheriff's Office or somewhere else.


Was the Sheriff's Office and Columbia County Sheriff Mark Hunter playing it straight when they said there were no documents in its possession besides the CAD report and a finger print card? You be the judge.

This work by the Columbia County Observer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

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