Historic City News received a copy of the summary report from the criminal investigation of former Chief Richard Hedges by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement; who St Augustine Beach Mayor Gary Snodgrass called, “the preeminent organization in our state to conduct an independent, thorough investigation”.
On May 14, 2012, Mayor Snodgrass contacted the Office of Executive Investigations within FDLE requesting an investigation of fourteen (14) specific allegations against Chief Hedges. The complaint was compiled by Beach police officers. Hedges was placed on paid administrative leave and an interim Chief was assigned from the St Johns County Sheriff command staff.
Almost immediately, FDLE found that ten (10) of the allegations appeared to be primarily “administrative in nature” — therefore outside the purview of the agency. FDLE agreed to conduct a preliminary inquiry, confined to four (4) allegations that were potentially criminal in nature.
Sworn statements were obtained from a number of potential witnesses and Chief Hedges, according to FDLE Public Information Officer Keith Kameg. Investigators also obtained copies of documents and other records relevant to the investigation.
Six weeks later, on June 26, 2012, the outcome of case EI-73-8553 was released.
With regard to the four (4) allegations identified as potentially criminal in nature, the FDLE investigation did not reveal any information indicative of any criminal action by or on the part of Chief Hedges.
“In the absence of additional information, FDLE considers this matter closed,” the report concluded.