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Once a Jail Commander, 23-Year Sheriff’s Employee Is Demoted to Deputy Over Chronic Flaws

| June 22, 2018

The Flagler County jail has had a few issues in the past two year. (© FlaglerLive)

The Flagler County jail has had a few issues in the past two years. (© FlaglerLive)

Tammy Stakes, a 23-year employee at the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office who’d risen to the rank of commander until less than a year ago, when she “self-demoted” to sergeant, was demoted again to deputy effective July 2 in the latest fallout from another detention deputy reporting to work drunk.

That deputy was fired in mid-May, but the internal investigation the incident triggered found Stakes to have failed her supervisory responsibilities over the deputy and to have subsequently failed to follow through on corrective action. Other issues were also uncovered, including the denial or cancellation of recreation time for inmates for half the days in February and the mishandling of an inmate’s medical issue.

As a detention commander last September Stakes was earning $80,700. The salary had been cut to $67,100 when she self-demoted. Her new salary as a deputy without rank will be $55,000 a year. 

Stakes had supervisory authority over detention staff responsible for hundreds of inmates. She’d been reprimanded four times in writing and had incurred one one-day suspension over various failures to follow policy between 2010 and 2018, and placed on improvement plans in 2014 and again in 2017. Her last reprimand in mid-April resulted from a failure to show up for a mandatory training class. That was followed by counseling for improperly carrying her weapon in May.

Stakes had been a supervisor the late January morning when a detention deputy had reported to work drunk, but had taken several hours to respond to a civilian employee’s concerns about the deputy before pulling the deputy off the duty line, where he’d been interacting with inmates. (That employee was suspended for 30 days and subsequently fired.) Stakes was not disciplined over that issue.

In the course of the department’s internal investigation in to the matter, “potential performance issues” regarding her handling of the incident were noted, and two memos on separate issues aggravated her standing.

One of those issues was recreation for inmate, which is set out by the Florida Model Jail Standard and is followed at the Flagler jail. In February, a sergeant reviewing paperwork came across numerous inmate requests and grievances over recreation time that had been denied. Looking closer, the sergeant found that recreation time was being cancelled frequently by a particular squad. “I started looking into exactly how many days were cancelled and by whom,” the sergeant wrote, according to the internal investigation. “There were twenty-eight days in February; forteen days would have been the responsibility of Sergeant Stakes’ squad. Six days were canceled by Cpl. Vazquez; 4 days were canceled by Sergeant Stakes. Ultimately, it is the Sergeant’s responsibility to ensure recreation is completed and Sergeant Stakes was on-duty every day in question. There were zero attempts made to make up the recreation on the weekends that her squad worked. The weekends are generally used for this purpose.”

That ranked as a violation of Sheriff’s Office policy, sustaining a finding of unsatisfactory or incompetent performance. Other sustained findings included a failure to follow an order, a failure to monitor staffing levels (she had not been aware that the squad she was responsible for was shorthanded on a particular day), a dress-code issue, and a “lack of situational awareness” regarding an inmate. 

An inmate was reported to be acting erratically on March 4 and seemed to have been drunk, but that was 12 hours after he’d been booked in. A supervisor was told the inmate had drunk anti-freeze before his arrest. “I was not comfortable with the situation and I immediately went to medical and spoke to the on-duty nurse,” a supervisor wrote. The supervisor then ordered the inmate sent to the hospital. “I then called Sergeant Stakes to my office and proceeded to question her about the situation,” the supervisor reported. “Sergeant Stakes stated that she had very limited knowledge of what was going on with this particular inmate. I then stated to Sergeant Stakes, that if she spent as much time concentrating on her job as she did planning her vacation time, taking off all major holidays and personal time she would be an excellent supervisor. I then explained that her performance levels are sub-standard and not acceptable to me or this Agency by any means. I then ordered her to go back to medical and get the latest update on this inmate and make sure that he is in route to the hospital.”

“Sergeant Stakes continually displays unsatisfactory and incompetent supervisory skills despite our attempts to improve her skill level,” Undersheriff Jack Bisland was quoted as saying in a release issued by the Sheriff’s Office this afternoon. “We trust that our  supervisors are competent to do their jobs and we hold them accountable. We cannot tolerate repeated failures to follow general orders, failure to perform the duties of the job, or failure to take immediate action during a serious situation, which a supervisor is entrusted to do promptly.” 

The jail has had a few issues in the past two year, with four employee resignations that followed internal investigations, the firing of one deputy, and now the demotion of a former commander, all at a time when the jail’s population has increased significantly.

27 Responses for “Once a Jail Commander, 23-Year Sheriff’s Employee Is Demoted to Deputy Over Chronic Flaws”

  1. palm coaster 2 says:

    For Pete’s sake, why isn’t she fired? Coffey isn’t the only county joke. Get rid of all of them!

  2. 107 says:

    Was being paid way too much to begin with and still is. Cut it back another $15k and you’ll be on the money. It’s no wonder why the Sheriffs asking for millions more in his next fiscal years budget. With medical and retirement and sick, vacation and paid holidays this officer is still costing us $80k or more!! Half the time officers are sitting in parked ars cgattjng with another officer or playing….. Time to start walking the beat!!

    Demote more and bring their pay down within reason!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Mark says:

    Sounds like the Green Roof Inn may need some new management.

  4. Concerned Citizen says:

    Definitely double standards here.

    You suspended then fired a Deputy for showing up to work. (By the way did we ever pursue the DUI if he drove in that morning?) But yet you only demote a Supervisor who can’t do her job.

    if Deputy Stakes could not perform as a Commander or a Sergeant then why expect any different from her as a Deputy? Your standards should be across the board regardless of rank.

    If you have problems with your Line Deputies most of it originates from Supervisors like Deputy Stakes. You lead by example. I also fault the Sheriff because leadership starts at the top.

    The Sheriff has had 6 or 7 major issues in the last several months. He has yet approached the public on how he intends to fox his department. Ignoring it is a lousy policy and doesn’t make it go away.

    Having served in the military then having a career in Law Enforcement then Fire Rescue you take an Oath to do that job. Not many professions require you to do that.

    That Oath holds you to higher standards and more is expected of you. Once you fail that Oath and violate the Public’s trust it’s time to face consequences and get out.

    Sheriff Staly we are looking to you to fix your agency.

  5. Richard says:

    With her past work record and sub-par performance, if I had been her supervisor it would have gone down like this, “your FIRED!” This type of bullshit has been going on for way TOO long and the swamp needs to be drained. There are many more highly qualified people standing in line for this job. Get someone who has has the integrity and fortitude that can handle the job and its duties.

  6. Kathy says:

    What about the other 14 days? What happened to those, who was the supervisor on those days?

    This may have been light punishment in this scenario but I’m wondering (and could be hyper-focusing) if there is a discrepancy between our Sheriff’s disciplinary actions toward women than men?

    Has this crossed anybody else’s mind or perhaps I am over-focused on this point?

  7. Trailer Bob says:

    Maybe its just me, but isn’t 23 years old a little young to be in her position? It is well established that the portion of the human brain that controls responsible behavior continues to develop until around 25 years old. And it is a little discerning to read of a 23 year old making $80k a year for this position. Get a grip on these salaries and stop giving breaks to those who cannot perform at 100%. There are probably a thousand people who could and would perform better than this young lady at this position. Perhaps we should begin lowering the salaries of employees is non-high risk positions and raising them for those who are in harms way out in the streets. Getting tired of reading these stories about incompetence and over pay.

  8. Peaches McGee says:

    @Trailer Bob – She’s been with the department for 23 years ie: “a 23-year employee at the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office”

  9. Jen says:

    Hey Trailer Bob its 23 years of service not 23 years old.

  10. Exit 82 says:

    Try reading the article again. It says she has WORKED THERE for 23 years.

  11. Flagler Local says:

    You obviously misread the article which clearly states “23 year sheriff’s employee”… 23 years of service not 23 years old.

  12. Freddy says:

    Bob, 23 years is her service in FCSO not her age.

  13. Mark says:

    Great, lets let her be a deputy so she can bring her incompetence to dealing with the public. Supervisors obviously are incompetent, for promoting her.

  14. Born and Raised Here says:

    In the Corporate World, you would never get a second chance,

  15. Lovely Lady says:

    Trailer Bob – clean your glasses. She’s a 23 Year Employee of FCSO – not 23 years old. But, yeah, she needs to be fired.

  16. Anonymous says:

    the jail is full of employees that were all in the “need to know people to work here” routine…

    time to flush out all the current administration and employees and start over-too many people in the ranks of the jail protect each other due to the lifestyles they all shared outside of work too.

    staly is obviously sick of the whole “small county” feel of the way things are done{dukes of hazzard style} and is working hard on bringing more professionalism to the table

    get rid of tammy stakes!

  17. Flagler Local says:

    Mark, she won’t be a deputy on the road dealing with the public. She will still be working in the jail, just as the low man on the totem pole.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Staly is sick of the whole “small county”/ “Dukes of hazzard style” and working on bringing more professionalism to the department? Isn’t he the one stepping out in Stetson Hats and having “Who’s the fastest draw contests? Surely there is more important things to be doing than putting on a Wild West show. Perhaps paying better attention to what his employees are and are not doing would be a better use of time.. Sounds pretty Dukes of Hazzard to me.

  19. Gkimp says:

    This is just Sheriff Staly, who said he would get rid of anyone thinning out the herd.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like Staly and all his boasting about HIS green roof inn is where he could house his own! How many now is it that have gotten away……Staley needs to fairly and equally apply the law…….his head turning is a sign he is unethical and has more than one set of standards. Rather than putting on a dog and pony show, how about being the Sheriff and doing your job Rick in an HONORABLE fashion!! I don’t recall there being so much controversy in the FCSO in such a short period of time since you took office. You have no one to blame but your self, so don’t even go there.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately no one really knows what goes on in the green roof inn , but let me give u all some insight . If sheriff Staley was such a great sheriff he would put someone in the jail undercover to see the real issues . Instead of taking tax payers dollars n wasting it on signs that light up and Friday bingo . U make a joke of issues that are the citizens of your county . Shame on you ! Almost every inmate has a drug problem! How about taking that money u spent on the new jail and opening up rehabs so these citizens can
    Be productive members of society . The lieing crooked police lock people up , then put them in a nice spot in hell . The green roof inn ! No response to medical requests , never go outside it’s always cancelled due to excuses, food is absolutely disgusting no nutrients so ur sicker then when u came in , people who have been prescribed medicine from there physicians can’t have them , the officers don’t care and treat u like crap. There is only 4 jobs for people that r sentenced . There r only two kinds of people in green roof inn addicts, and people who should be in mental institute . If u really want to fix this problem then change the system because it’s not working . Doctors get people addicted then they need to go to the streets because they have habits . Maybe if this county would rehabilitate the issues of these people there would be less people locked up. But how I see it it’s all about money ! More conviction more jail time more money ! I only hope a govern body hirer then the county would investigate how these inmates r being cared for it’s inhuman. How can u lock someone up there for any period of time n then expect them to do good in society . Physically, mentally,spiritually. The people who r suppose to be power of examples to inmates r breaking the laws themselves. Doesn’t anybody see what the real deal is ! Sheriff Staley u need to go ! This isn’t how u reform !

  22. Dave says:

    She should be fired! Our guys n girls in there need to be taken care of and protected properly. We dont need our brothers and sisters behind bars facing abuse from the ones there to serve them. Serve our inmates proudly. They rely on you!!

  23. Concerned Citizen says:

    After re-reading the article it definitely makes you wonder about double standards in the Sheriff’s Office.

    4 resignations and one termination. All male employees. 1 Self demotion after numerous serious violations including improper carry of a weapon – one female employee. One CCTV employee fired and arrested for narcotics possession – one female employee,

    And those were just Jail issues. Let’s not forget the courthouse Shenanigans.

    Is the Sheriff afraid of disciplining female employees? If so why? The Sheriff’s Office touts itself as an EEO agency. Yet it seems that a female deputy has more leeway.

    If you take a job in law enforcement you need to be held accountable to all standards and policies regardless of age,race, sex.

    Finally it seems the Undersheriiff needs to stop being so lenient with ALL employees and the Sheriff needs to become more involved in day to day management.

    I can see a disciplinary process for minor issues but major ones should be handled with an immediate termination. Especially if it involves mishandling firearms and you are supposedly “trained personnel”

  24. Rob JR says:

    There are people in government who are paid as if there were in private industry. But not the people on the bottom.

    Since some are paid like private industry treat them like the work in private industry.

    Show them the door they don’t get demoted.

  25. Just The Truth says:

    Making that kind of money yearly and for that length of time in employment, what were you thinking? Idiot for sure.

  26. John Dolan esq. says:

    If the regular pay is $55,000 and the $tupidvisor makes $80+ benefits , I would be drinking on the job too.

  27. Shark says:

    Took them 23 years to figure this out??????

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