JUNE 5, 2023


Michael Skelly

(917) 364-8142

North Central Florida PBA President Joseph Branaman Blasts Sheriff Watson Over Employee Discipline

BRADENTON, FL– The following statement can be attributed to Southwest Florida PBA President Mick McHale:

“I am pleased that Sheriff Watson has finally decided to rescind a punitive discipline order that was imposed on our members. It is very unfortunate that, once again, a matter involving Sheriff Watson and our members had to escalate to the courts before the Sheriff finally came to his senses. These unnecessary legal battles with Sheriff Watson have become an all too frequent occurrence. I do not believe anything will change for the remainder of his time in office. Sheriff Watson pretends to support his employees to the public, but his actions continue to show otherwise.

Simply responding to PBA correspondence or acknowledging any of our collective bargaining or other issues takes weeks, if not longer, for him or his designee to respond. Long time employees are being treated like second class citizens by this new administration. Often, it is only the threat of litigation and public exposure that seems to garner a response from Sheriff Watson or his administration. Our members deserve to be treated fairly and equitably as Sheriff Watson claims he does. I would like to recognize Bobi Frank of Bobi Frank Law, who represented our members in this most recent litigation. Bobi worked tirelessly to ensure that our members received the justice that they deserved. We extend our deepest gratitude for the work she does on behalf of the NCFL PBA. Sheriff Watson, who continues to operate the Sheriff’s office at critical staffing levels in almost all areas of his agency, except his own command staff, should live up to his own words and treat those who protect and serve Alachua County daily, as they deserve to be treated.”ned any doubts about whether Chief Bevan is out to destroy the careers of the dedicated men and women of her own police department, today’s termination of Patrick Mahoney should remove all doubt. Just two weeks ago, Officer Mahoney bravely came forward with a lawsuit against Chief Bevan to expose the rampant pattern of corruption committed by Chief Bevan and her underlings. Officer Mahoney’s claims are completely protected under the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution. Sadly, Chief Bevan doesn’t believe the Constitution matters, as evidenced by today’s firing of Officer Mahoney, which is nothing short of retaliation. The PBA has a long list of members who will continue to come forward and expose the Chief’s abuse of power through litigation and incontrovertible evidence. We condemn the firing of Officer Mahoney and any future attempts by Chief Bevan to retaliate against any of our members for obeying the rule of law.”

Joseph G. Branaman
President, North Central Florida Chapter
Florida Police Benevolent Association