Will settle whether Sheriff Scott violated federal act
By Rachel Myers
Federal and state investigations into allegations that Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott acted illegally or unethically by speaking at a political rally while on duty and in uniform could take weeks - or possibly months - to complete.
Scott has denied any wrongdoing after he referred to the Democratic presidential candidate by his full name, Barack Hussein Obama, at a rally for Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin on Monday.
Critics say that by doing so, Scott implied Obama is a Muslim. Obama, who is named for his Kenyan father, is a Christian.
Representatives with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel and the Florida Commission on Ethics say it is too soon to determine whether Scott has broken federal laws or state ethics policies.
At the county level, statutes govern employees' political actions while in uniform. The sheriff is an elected official, not an employee. His office's budget is approved by county commissioners, but his salary is paid by the governor's office.