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Top Official’s Daughter Charged with Fraud – Redaction Takes Center Stage

BROOKSVILLE – On January 11th, RNRF received information that an employee of a local Target Department Store would face felony charges for stealing nearly $2,300 from store registers. It turns out that the suspect who allegedly stole the cash was the teenage daughter of a prominent elected official.

According to Target loss prevention officers, 18-year-old Jenna Lynn Barbee stole a total of $2,282.94, over the course of several weeks, dating back to December 12th 2015. On the evening of her arrest, Jenna was transported just a few miles away to the Hernando County Jail, where she was charged with 1-count of Organized Fraud and later released on a $1,000 bond.

If the suspect’s name rings a bell, that’s because she is the daughter of Hernando County Clerk of the Court, Don Barbee. Of course news of the arrest devastated Barbee and with all arrests being public record, Barbee knew that word of the incident would soon make headlines. RNRF considered running the story immediately but we wanted to make sure “all bases were covered” before announcing such a high profile incident. But that didn’t stop Tampa Bay Times reporter Dan DeWitt from taking aim and firing a few rounds at the former Assistant State Attorney and the Sheriff’s Office.

In an article published on January 21st, Dewitt raised concerns over Jenna’s heavily redacted arrest affidavit (TIMES ARTICLE). Dewitt questions why Jenna’s name, address, and date of birth were redacted from the affidavit and why Jenna’s mugshot was not posted on the Jail website. Don Barbee and Sheriff’s Office Spokesperson, Denise Moloney explained that Florida law allows for Law Enforcement, former and current, Judges, prosecutors, and their families to be exempt from public record. Barbee further explained that he is both a former prosecutor and FBI Agent.

Dewitt’s sources say that the law allows for certain redactions but that it’s not required. At this point, Dewitt’s point becomes clearer – did Sheriff Nienhuis and Don Barbee intentionally prevent Jenna’s identity from becoming public record and was it to avoid embarrassment or to protect the Barbee family? Several RNRF viewers, Target employees, and even Grace Fagan, General Counsel, Fifth Judicial Circuit asked when we would be exposing the “scandal.” Fagan says “You should run with it – People should know.” Fagan went on to say “…it bothers me that the entire incident disappeared! The statute he references protects addresses, so that crazy defendants and the like cannot locate you as a DCF attorney, state attorney, judge or police officer – Not to completely eliminate any trace of an arrest. Her home address should have been redacted (arguably) but not the ENTIRE incident!!! That’s shady!” Fagan explained that even Judges have had their own children arrested in the past and their mug shots were in full disclosure. Fagan recalls the arrest of Kristin Howard, daughter of Citrus County Circuit Judge Richard Howard – Kristin was arrested in 2014 for DUI and her record is still available for viewing. Howard hired an attorney, pled guilty to reckless driving, and completed the terms of her probation like the average defendant, without the help of her father.

I asked Nienhuis if the allegations were true, that he went over and above standard protocol, he replied “Regarding this incident, my people advised that the law allowed (some would say encouraged) the redaction of all personal information of the child of a current or former law enforcement officer and prosecutor.  Mr. Barbee falls into both of these categories.  Since the subject arrested in this case specifically requested an exemption under this law and since we can never get the information back once published, my people recommended that we redact all the information listed in the statute as exempt from disclosure under the public records law.  I agreed with their assessment and told them to follow the law and to err on the side of caution when proactively posting the arrest online and when proactively sending the daily arrest reports to the media.” NIenhuis explained why he would “err on the side of caution” with anyone in Jenna’s position “If we did otherwise, it would open us up for criticism or liability if the spouse or child was harmed as a result of our release (especially when we are doing the release simply as a courtesy).”

Barbee fully concurs with Neinhuis’ explanation, stating “I have spent approximately 20 years putting people in jail for some very serious crimes. Unfortunately, my career choices place my family in serious danger.” Barbee went on to defend his position by saying “Applying the statutory exemption has nothing to do with me being an “influential daddy” and everything to do with protecting my family.”

Regarding the arrest of his daughter, Barbee says “18 year olds do stupid things and unfortunately mine is no exception. She will be facing the consequences of that decision for the rest of her life.”

Many question the motive behind Dewitt’s article – claiming that he used Jenna as a pawn to criticize her father, as the Times often does with conservative leadership in Hernando County. With the current election cycle picking up speed, political mudslinging from both sides of the isle will certainly become more apparent with all forms of media.

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  • Thank you for the update Jen, Jenna, it shows just how much respect you have for the law and your father. Not!!!!

    Wednesday, 25 January 2017, 4:58 pm
  • She made a mistake. Mr. Barbee is an awesome human being who would go out of his way for anyone that deserves it. She was 18 for gods sake. I have done worse way before my 16th birthday. I am still a good person and have made much of myself.

    Sunday, 11 September 2016, 12:55 pm
  • Tom, can we get an update? You work hard and those of us who follow you would appreciate updates on stories like this one. Thanks.

    Monday, 27 June 2016, 12:17 pm
  • Tom, can the citizens of this County get an update or do we have to go look through mountains of paperwork at the courthouse. Also, an update on Arnold Franco would be appreciated.

    Friday, 8 April 2016, 4:47 pm
  • Thank you for that info! I called the Clerk’s office today and found out that Paula Merritt’s title is “Civil Supervisor.” When I asked what she does, in that capacity, I was told, “Everything that has to do with the civil courts.” This makes me wonder WHY, then, was she working on Martin’s criminal case file? Was she protecting her husband, Judge Merritt? Her boss, Don Barbee? Suspicious. I realize that I’m taking this conversation in a different direction than the original article/discussion was headed, so I will end this comment by asking WHY is Jenna Barbee’s arrest information (minus her mug shot and home address) missing from both the HCDC’s website and the Clerk’s docket? Is she being prosecuted or protected? Seems there’s a great deal of cover-up going on inside that courthouse. I want to know WHY!

    Monday, 29 February 2016, 3:37 pm
    • It is protected under FOIA by a process called redaction. He is classified protected address and so are his family I would assume. Her address has NOTHING and NO barring on her crime though and so only certain identifiers can be blacked out and its actually a good thing bc its not right for her life to be risked nor Don Barbee down the road once this blows over. She is a child still at 18 actually and her case will be FULLY HIDDEN and likely converted to a minor child diversion program and as long as she successfully completes it she will never have a record with a trail of paper bc they all go BYE BYE.

      Wednesday, 25 January 2017, 3:45 pm
      • So she replays with her own arrogant opine.

        Wednesday, 1 February 2017, 9:34 pm
  • Yes, all employees are assigned the “Deputy Clerk” designation, but that is not their official job titles. They all have different job titles and responsibilities.

    Saturday, 27 February 2016, 12:03 pm
  • P.S. According to the paperwork I have with her signature on it, Mrs. Merritt’s title is “Deputy Clerk.”

    Thursday, 25 February 2016, 11:26 pm
  • Yes, I do know that, but thank you for sharing the info with the other readers. Even more shocking is that she has worked on my husband’s case! In 2013, his Direct Appeal was delayed by 6 months while his public defender waited on a piece of evidence to be provided to him. He requested it 5 times from the Clerk’s office. Finally, Mrs. Merritt accessed my husband’s computer file and provided the missing “page 75” of the accuser’s deposition. Ironically, this page contains testimony that is in direct conflict to what her husband, Judge Merritt, stated as a fact of the case in one of our post-trial evidentiary hearings. Then, on December of last year Mrs. Merritt accessed my husband’s file again and provided me with information regarding his home foreclosure. It appears that Mrs. Merritt has an interest in the outcome of my husband’s case. I find all this to be highly inappropriate and suspicious, especially given the fact that she, herself, was pregnant at 16 and a victim of domestic violence, citing “gross neglect/extreme cruelty” when she filed for divorce from her first husband in 1981…

    Thursday, 25 February 2016, 11:00 pm
  • Ms. Peterson, did you know that Judge Merritt, Jr’s wife worked and still works for the Clerk’s Office. Not sure what her position is now, but she was the Civil Court’s Manager/Director for many years. Being married to a Judge, you would think it to be a conflict of interest.

    Wednesday, 24 February 2016, 10:50 am
  • Further, in 2014, Judge Merritt, Jr. subpoenaed 21 jurors who ignored their summons and spent an hour lecturing them in his courtroom. At one point, he even held out the American flag and read the names of deceased soldiers who died to give U.S. citizens the right to serve on a jury. Given Judge Merritt’s obvious outrage that people ignored a juror summons, I want to know WHY he is not even more angered that my husband’s jury Foreperson lied repeatedly to his face, in his courtroom? A newspaper reporter wrote about Judge Merritt admonishing the jurors and the next day, a woman using the name “1HotGrandma,” commented on the article: “I had been called for jury duty for many years. However, I was always one of those who did not qualify, due to either current medications or jobs. I did get a recent request, and responded that I was over the age group, but had always wanted to be a juror. I got a personal note from Don Barbee saying if I really wanted to be on a jury, it could be arranged. Maybe seniors should be asked if they want to be a juror, even if they were beyond the age group.” Don Barbee serves on the Florida Judicial Nominating Commission, in charge of vetting applicants for judicial vacancies throughout the Circuit. It appears that Don Barbee is selecting both judges and juries. Again, I find all this to be highly suspicious…

    Thursday, 18 February 2016, 1:02 am
  • If this story of nepotism and abuse of power makes you angry, as it should, you will be outraged to know that in 2009, while Don Barbee was the Supervisor of the State Attorney’s office, he refused to prosecute Judge Merritt Jr’s step-son when he was charged with Battery. When my husband was falsely accused of a sex crime, Don Barbee charged and arrested him in 2011 with no probable cause. In 2012, during the time of my husband’s trial, Don Barbee was now the Clerk of Court. Under his watch and supervision, Don Barbee’s office selected the potential jurors and paid those who served. In 2015, I investigated and uncovered evidence that the jury foreperson had lied to every question asked of her at the Voir Dire, conveniently omitting the fact that her father is a convicted sex offender, her step father and mother are career law enforcement, her mother has been a case worker for the DCF and Children’s Home Society, her grandparents have fostered and adopted over 600 children, and her daughter is friends with the accuser. When she lied, this juror committed “Fraud Upon the Court,” which is a felony, in order to get on my husband’s jury and ensure his conviction. By doing so, she committed her own version of vigilante justice and robbed him of his 6th Amendment right to a fair trial by an impartial jury. My husband is now serving a life sentence with no chance of parole for a crime he did not commit. Yet, when I discovered the crime by this juror and reported it to Don Barbee, Judge Merritt Jr and the State Attorneys office, they refused to investigate. It’s been 8 months and not only has this rogue juror not even been questioned, my husband is being refused a new trial, which the law clearly requires. In the past nearly 4 years, I have uncovered evidence that proves he is innocent and the Hernando courthouse corruption extends far beyond what you’ve read about in this article. I have more evidence of this type of blatent corruption – much more – and find all this to be highly suspicious…

    Thursday, 18 February 2016, 12:50 am
  • I have lived here for 25 yrs……Isn’t the Barbee name associated with lawsuits during the 80’s or 90’s about River Country….?

    Friday, 29 January 2016, 5:03 pm
  • Covering for her is enabling her. He will have to learn the hard way I guess.

    Wednesday, 27 January 2016, 11:03 pm
  • People can jump to conclusions…if you Mr Barbee you would he is very good man. I do agree that her name and adress should not be public record. He has put many people in jail including my ex husband for molesting my children. I have total respect for this man. He has put many people in jail, and his family would definitely be in danger. He is very professional and I know he will let do process happen when it comes to his daughter. All he did was not make it public record. He did get rid of her arrest.

    Wednesday, 27 January 2016, 1:24 pm
  • Check out the link above.Miss Barbee shooting at the range.

    Wednesday, 27 January 2016, 9:55 am
  • This really makes me angry and this is why. Many down here are arrested charged with felonies. But they aren’t felonies, they are actually misdeamnors. You go thru the court system pay money to the courts, your lawyers bring it down to a misdeamnor ( where it should of been at the time of the arrest) and the clerks office refuses to change it. They have destroyed many young lives. Those that should be truly arrested for felonies many don’t pay fees, how is that fair ? It’s all about the good old dollar, someone needs to wake up. Hopefully this incident has woken up many.

    Wednesday, 27 January 2016, 9:32 am

    Wednesday, 27 January 2016, 1:25 am
  • I heard he chases women too.

    Wednesday, 27 January 2016, 1:15 am
  • Yes Teresa you are correct Don Barbee has destroyed many families. He was my prosecutor and worked at the Sheriff’s office. He had no evidence on my case but wouldn’t drop my charges because he was part of the Sheriff’s office.

    Tuesday, 26 January 2016, 9:25 pm
  • Teresa well said. Parents like that cause the affluenza affect! And a new Clerk is needed.

    Tuesday, 26 January 2016, 2:40 pm
  • Folks, the bottom line is this. The incident was plotted between Neinheius and Barbee prior to the arrest. Neinhuis changes his rules and procedures on how he runs his business on a daily basis. The man is not stable and is a big liar. Neinhuis makes a quote in the times that “it must have been a computer glitch” Bull**** you piece of crap. Another attempted over up by Neinhuis and his staff. They ALL need to go packing. Hopefully FDLE and the Governor are aware of this incident by now.

    Tuesday, 26 January 2016, 1:38 pm
  • @ You are all crazy. The fact that Jenna got arrested is unfortunate. Like I have said before she is a kid who made a mistake. The political corruption is what I’m upset about. His actions are unjust and unethical. What he has done is inexcusable and there should be consequences for “ALL” of his actions. He is not invisible or exempt from the consequences. He can’t be trusted to be the keeper of the records, because he picks and chooses what he wants to disclose. We need a new clerk. Any takers!?

    Tuesday, 26 January 2016, 10:58 am
  • You people are all crazy!!! You are not going to tell me that every single person who has posted something on this thread has not done something stupid in their life. Did you annouce all the details to the world? I do not condone her actions but seriously turning this into an attack on Don is just plain crazy. She will pay for her crime and I don’t blame him one bit for trying keep it out of the public for this exact reason. Listen to all these stupid comments. Don do what you need to do for your family there are people out in the world who truly understand.

    Tuesday, 26 January 2016, 9:20 am
  • Teresa , did you know that he compensates his employees with paid time off if they participate in the community walks for cause? Yes, he does and that time off is paid by taxpayers dollars. This also gives him polical reconition. He tracks who attends and who does not. Most employees would prefer spending time with their children and families, but feel pressured to attend these walks instead.

    Monday, 25 January 2016, 11:54 pm
  • @ Concerned citizen you are right on target. He has destroyed that office! All the people that he has fired were fired because they didn’t stroke his ego. He justified it by saying they didn’t fit in his “culture”. The office is now ran by a bunch of yo-yos. He has Napoleon syndrome. When Karen was the clerk it was “The Clerk’s Office” serving the taxpayers of Hernando County. This jerk face came in and change it all to suit his needs. Now it’s “The Office of Don Barbee” serving the ego of Don Barbee. I love Jesus, too, but what happened to separation of church and state!? Employees should go to work to work not pray. As a taxpayer that concerns me. Don’t waste my money. @ Dean I agree FDLE and others should investigate these and other corruptions. Like his campaigning using county computers and time. Again targeting and pressuring his employees to support his political campaign. He uses the good things done for the community by the employees to gain political advances and name recognition. The sheriff’s office spokeswoman’s daughter no longer works there. She was ran off by his lies, too. She is a very nice, well educated young lady.

    Monday, 25 January 2016, 5:51 pm
  • I am a retired officer myself and these shenanigans are common..I can write a book of stuff like this…Its alive and well corruption and more…Also for more info.The sheriffs spokespersons daughter,works for Don Barbee the clerk of court,as a clerk also…Its all related..favor for favor…..People need to Call FDLE asap((800) 226-1140
    (813) 878-7300..theres the phone numbers for the tampa regional office…I encourage all citizens to put in a demand for a full investigation on the Sheriff and of the Clerk of court…shame on them…

    Monday, 25 January 2016, 4:56 pm
  • SO EVERYONE I ENCOURAGE AND ONE READING THIS WHO IS A RETIRED COP TO DEMAND THAT YOUR FAMILIES STUFF IS TAKEN DOWN ALSO AT THE SHERIFFS OFFICE AND ON THE CLERK OF COURTS WEBSITE!!!The sheriff and and Clerk now have eggs on their face!!! what a coverup…I will demand that my nephews booking picture be remoeved also and all traces on the clerk of court website..Perhaps FDLE(Florida dept of law enforcement in tampa,Fl needs to be notified of this and they can start an independent investigation of this into the sheriff and the clerk.FDLE does Internal affairs investigations on the SHeriffs themselves….This is corruption at its best!!!

    Monday, 25 January 2016, 4:50 pm
  • As Teresa stated above, Don is not a good guy as he pretends to be. Rumor has it that he is not fair to all employees, only those that agree with his management style. He has fired some really good employees and promoted some really lousy ones. He changes things in the office to justify his employee promotions and demotions. He even changes job descriptions to fit his changes, even if the job required master degrees and/or law degrees. Employees are required to pray with him at every employee meeting. Some are ok with it and others don’t like it but will not say anything for fear of being targeted and/or fired. Those employees that feel unjustly demoted and/or fired and/or forced to retire should get together and bring a class-action suit against him.

    Monday, 25 January 2016, 4:16 pm
  • No names anyone about hillbillies, rednecks, yankees, blacks, Jews thats usually protocol….OOOOO wait shes white and not poor so no name sorry….

    Monday, 25 January 2016, 7:28 am
  • Yes he needs to be investigated!! @food for thought like I said I have known him for years and he is a monster! My accusations are not false. They are very true. The people who work at the clerk’s office could never say anything, because they would get fired. The only person he cares about is himself and his political image. The kid made a mistake…fine. Many people do. The case will probably be dropped anyway. Remember Don worked at the State Attorney’s Office. I would be surprised if Brad King pursued the charges. Another political connection. The issue I’m having is that he is an unethical political snake. If he was so concerned for his family’s safety then why didn’t he have the traffic ticket she got earlier in 2015 redacted!? Why is he posting personal family information and locations on the internet!? If anyone wanted to do harm to him or his family it wouldn’t be hard for any wacko to find them. They wouldn’t need to look at her arrest to find any information. Don is an elected constitutional officer. The only person we can complain to is the governor. Call him…I will be.

    Monday, 25 January 2016, 12:56 am
  • Running unopposed per Jason’s op ed, unless I misunderstood.

    Sunday, 24 January 2016, 10:50 pm
  • Just my opinion, if it was my kid. Her mug shot would be posted for everybody to see since my family name is not Barbee and I don’t have a connection with Nienhuis. I can give a sh#t what she did. The point here is that these people think that they are better than anybody else so they make laws to make themselves exempted from what everyone else has to follow. So when they try to cover up something like this instead of coming forward and let her be judged like anybody else would if arrested. Well I have a problem with that and that is why Barbee and Nienhuis have to go in the next election.

    Sunday, 24 January 2016, 9:55 pm
  • So,? “This is crazy”. I’ve shopped at that store as well. And as someone with a long history in Retail Management, I can almost guarantee EVERY store we shop has an employee (or more) that steals from their employer. In fact; more shoplifting is done by store employees than outside individuals @ a rate of nearly 3/1. I’m absolutely not condoning her thievery. She is being prosecuted, as well she deserves. Consequences…harsh ones are needed, to scare her straight. However, exposing the family to danger??? Let’s keep things in perspective people. Geez! You are all worse than a bunch of crazed villager’s on a witch hunt, just for the fun of it. What if this were your kid?

    Sunday, 24 January 2016, 8:27 pm
  • Benjamin, Mylander is a stand up guy, don’t think anyone would have a problem if they wanted to find Barbee. So hiding his address is a waste of time.

    Sunday, 24 January 2016, 6:42 pm
  • Why?Because i have gone to the registers at this Target!!

    Sunday, 24 January 2016, 5:36 pm
  • Her crime was against Target Stores. They investigated. Called the police; They investigated. A warrant was issued. She was arrested. Charged. Arraigned. Bail was set. Bond was paid. She was released. Seems to me…other than NOT notifying all the nosey neighbors, this kid is being treated just like every other stupid little thief. So what, they didn’t post her name, photo and info? Why is it your business, anyway? She wasn’t breaking into homes. She wasn’t jumping people at ATM’s. This wasn’t an armed robbery. This was a NON-violent, stupid thing she did. Putting a former Dist. Attorney’s and his family’s information out there is negligent and irresponsible.

    Sunday, 24 January 2016, 5:09 pm
  • Barbee needs to be investgated.

    Sunday, 24 January 2016, 2:45 pm
  • For those who are concerned & up set call ur local commissioner this needs to STOP!!

    Sunday, 24 January 2016, 1:34 pm
  • I can understand not showing the address. But her picture and the fact that she was arrested, should have been on the website. I may be wrong, but didn’t Sheriff Mylander have a child arrested and the arrest was on the website? It’s obvious favoritism. Barbee seems to live a pretty public life for someone who is in such serious danger, lets give an exemption too ALL of those named Barbee, because a nut could just assume you were related, right?

    Sunday, 24 January 2016, 12:25 pm
  • And this low intelligent comment by you concerns the issue at hand in what way ? Please get a GED and get a life and sell your computer/phone and stop posting stupidity.

    Sunday, 24 January 2016, 11:14 am
  • And what does any of that have to do with hiding the truth and information behind the arrest ? NOTHING. Its just good old boys taking care of each other, like they have for years.

    Sunday, 24 January 2016, 11:10 am
  • d.(I) The home addresses, telephone numbers, social security numbers, dates of birth, and photographs of current or former state attorneys, assistant state attorneys, statewide prosecutors, or assistant statewide prosecutors; the home addresses, telephone numbers, social security numbers, photographs, dates of birth, and places of employment of the spouses and children of current or former state attorneys, assistant state attorneys, statewide prosecutors, or assistant statewide prosecutors; and the names and locations of schools and day care facilities attended by the children of current or former state attorneys, assistant state attorneys, statewide prosecutors, or assistant statewide prosecutors are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.

    (II) The names of the spouses and children of current or former state attorneys, assistant state attorneys, statewide prosecutors, or assistant statewide prosecutors are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.

    2.a.(I) The home addresses, telephone numbers, social security numbers, dates of birth, and photographs of active or former sworn or civilian law enforcement personnel, including correctional and correctional probation officers, personnel of the Department of Children and Families whose duties include the investigation of abuse, neglect, exploitation, fraud, theft, or other criminal activities, personnel of the Department of Health whose duties are to support the investigation of child abuse or neglect, and personnel of the Department of Revenue or local governments whose responsibilities include revenue collection and enforcement or child support enforcement; the home addresses, telephone numbers, social security numbers, photographs, dates of birth, and places of employment of the spouses and children of such personnel; and the names and locations of schools and day care facilities attended by the children of such personnel are exempt from s. 119.07(1).

    (II) The names of the spouses and children of active or former sworn or civilian law enforcement personnel and the other specified agency personnel identified in sub-sub-subparagraph (I) are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.

    Sunday, 24 January 2016, 10:43 am
  • Its a shame that this has taken such an ugly outlook because after all is said & done we’re all created equal This only makes these guys look exactly how they are dishonest!!

    Sunday, 24 January 2016, 10:20 am
  • @Tereasa I do not know those negative accusations to be true. I have known him for years and never had a bad experience with him. I have learned in life there are always 3 sides to every story. I personally like the guy and think his daughter made a really bad decision by what she did. I know his dedication hasnt let him be there for his family always like he would like to be and thats why he left some jobs. I have kids and thats why Im no longer in my former job. It was very stressful, very demanding and dangerous. I left what I knew and loved to spend a higher quality of time with my kids. I seen fellow officers and their kids were either on one end of the scale or the other. I think time and dedication is also required in parenting and maybe some kids retaliate or fall down the wrong path and we get bad results. Im doing my best to avoid that. Im a very analytical person.

    Sunday, 24 January 2016, 9:57 am
  • Corruption @ its best what do u expect???

    Sunday, 24 January 2016, 7:56 am
  • Don Barbee’s little thief needs to have her mug shot published all over the web as well as go to prison for stealing almost 2500. Don’s crocked a** needs to be fired.

    Sunday, 24 January 2016, 5:45 am
  • I TOTALLY agree with Don and Rick here. There has definitely been a major cover-up. This is NOT right. It should be illegal for any public official to pull this and NOT suffer the consequence of their actions. I don’t care who it is. NO ONE is above the law. Including the public officials FAMILY. As was stated earlier, this girl IS 18 yrs. old. In the eyes of the REAL LAW, she is now a legal adult who HAS to deal with the consequences of HER actions… DESPITE who her daddy is. Now had they chosen to redact her address and date of birth, I could understand that. But if everyone else HAS to have their mug shots posted, and their crimes listed as public info, then SO SHOULD little miss Barbee. The law knows NO favoritism. But apparently elected public officials do, and that is wrong on EVERY LEVEL. They need to be held accountable, and I believe Barbee needs to step down and resign. He can NOT be trusted to make the ‘right’ choice any more than his daughter can. Apparently that apple did NOT fall far from the family tree. And I agree he should NOT be trusted with the public records of ANYONE in this county. Who knows who else’s he’s tampered with or wiped out? Many other good families have suffered at the hands of their so called ‘grown’ children and the horrible choices they have made. But were they given that same opportunity to ‘sweep it under the rug’? Uh…no. There ought to be a demand for full justice here. She needs to be charged with felony grand theft which IS something that cannot be expunged. Every retail store/business should have the right to pull up the full record of her crime BEFORE hiring her and her sticky fingers. I wouldn’t want someone like that running MY registers. Would you??
    This infuriates me soooo much. I put up with this crap for 15 yrs at the PO. It’s what they do to ‘clean house’ of bad management. Then sweep it under the rug by moving them out with transfers to other districts or other states.

    Great job reporting this Tom. PLEASE continue with any and all updates as you get them. We want to know how this impropriety in local government is going to be handled. GOOD JOB!

    Sunday, 24 January 2016, 4:04 am
  • Everyone is created equal right? That’s how it should be anyways. My dad got arrested and no one careday about who lived in his home or who his family was. Them publishing his address and name put out lives in danger. Luckily we weren’t home because because broke in and stole everything. They didn’t care and never helped us recover our stuff. I’m an ex police officer. Did they care no. One thing is true, you can’t control anyone’s thoughts, actions or attitudes. At the end of the day people are going to be how they want to be. It’s a shame that others think they ate above othes. Thank you for listening to my rant. Have a good night.

    Sunday, 24 January 2016, 12:51 am
  • Sounds like a Hernando County cover up to me thank Tampa Bat Times for bringing this to light I don’t care if you are the pope you brake the law you should go to jail for that much you stole bond only $1000 wow

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 8:58 pm
  • Nothing needs to be posted now, it is all right here in the comments section. SHE ruined her life, not matter who her Daddy is. I don’ t know the man, and I don’t care what positions he held before, but, he really should have done the right thing. If he did do the right thing, there would not be all these comments. So he made a one day post into many more. Being in office sometimes bites you in the A–!

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 7:51 pm
  • Give me a break. I could understand if Mr. Barbee had just requested that her address be redacted from the public record and not her name and mug shot, then his explanation would have been plausible. If he was so concerned about her safety that he had to have her name redacted, then why is the information regarding her Traffic ticket online for everyone to see on the Clerk’s website?? He could have had this information redacted just like he did for her felony arrest for Organized Fraud. Granted he did not have to involve the Sheriff in that incident as she was not arrested but the information is a public record and anyone can look it up including the bad guys he has been putting away for the last 20 years. This explanation does not pass the smell test. I guess the Traffic ticket wasn’t something that he felt would hurt his political future so he didn’t have his office remove her name from the public records for that. Good for Dan Dewitt for exposing this sham. Public Officials should be held to a higher standard and should let their ADULT children clean up their own messes. I don’t think he should be trusted to oversee the Public Records of Hernando County.

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 6:23 pm
  • Response to Chris White:
    PolitiFact-Fact Check is funded by a major funder of the Clinton Foundation and has regularly defended both Clinton and the Clinton Foundation without bothering to ever disclose this obvious conflict of interest. When it comes to Republicans and conservatives, PolitiFact-Fact Check doesn’t merely “fact check” their statements of fact, it fact checks their opinions. If your opinion doesn’t fall within the liberal orthodoxy, then it is labeled “false.”
    The Tampa Bay Times and Washington Post publish this crap and both organizations along with the likes of George Soros and his front operations have supported this effort and other like it to demean any conservative or republican they see in their sights.
    I smell a liberal troll.

    Regarding this story Tom presented the facts as he knows them. He waited to report which was decent journalism. If this young lady committed this crime she should pay for her very poor judgment like anyone else. She will have her judgement day and her parents will suffer for a long time.

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 5:46 pm
  • @food for thought Don is NOT a good person!!! So don’t lie to yourself or the community. I too have known him for years and he is quick to use his position to get what he wants. Jenna is just a kid. Kids do stupid things, but she too has used her fathers position to weezel through life. Like father like daughter. What Don has done may not be against the law, but it certainly unethical. He is young, only in his 40s. He has been a police officer, an FBI agent, an assistant state attorney, and now the clerk of court. That doesn’t make a lot of sense. He hasn’t had a very long career in any of these areas. He seems to me like the jack of all trades and the master of none. He has used taxpayer dollars to campaign. Filling out petition cards with employees names and their spouses passing them out on county time. Sending campaign emails to clerk employees. Then he tracks who has turned them in and who has not those who don’t go on his “black list”. They then get fired. The clerk employees do not make the big bucks. That job is the world to them. Losing their jobs hurts them and their families. The citizens of Hernando county need to know that he is not a good Christian like he pretends to be. He needs to be voted out and investigated for campaign fraud. He is NOT a good person.

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 5:29 pm
  • Leave your reviews on

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 4:58 pm
  • Dan DeWITT is a twit and that paper is a rag an thats why its losing its support because of people like DeTWIT.

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 4:54 pm
  • Every watch dog action group should focus on this arrest and follow it through the court system. You may remember a HCSO deputy whose daughter made a dastardly mistake and now resides in jail. As a mother, it had to hurt her but you never heard that she tried something of influence to help out. Barbee said he was retired fbi, that does not give his family carte Blanche in committing felonys. By the way don, it’s on the internet that you were federal cop, nice try.

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 4:53 pm
  • Young people often make bad choices. She made this choice not her father. I’m sure the family will hear all the terrible comments made by the public. This family is the same as any other family. They will work it out as a family. Leave them alone.

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 4:46 pm
  • Just to clarify what I meant by “Code Red”. I do NOT mean that her illegal action is trivial, it most certainly is NOT! She is accused of a crime. I don’t think her face should be hidden just because of her name. Let’s not pretend that isn’t part of the landscape.This isn’t a top secret, threat to the nation type situation! If any of us were to be snagged in that same little dragnet, our photos would be handed out as coloring pages at neighborhood pre-schools! Well, ok. Maybe not THAT, but you get my meaning…..

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 4:44 pm
  • IMHO (In My Humble Opinion)-
    Jenna Barbee, is not “a CHILD”? She is 18, and in the eyes of the law, an ADULT. That being said, most photos of those arrested are posted on the LE websites and made publicly available BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER the course of the event. Well, ALMOST always. Initially, yeah, but depending on the type of case, you may not get much play. The more interesting the story, the more exposure. Bear in mind, not all those arrested spend time in the klink. Ever heard of “bail”? A 10% “get out of jail” card, $1,000 = $100. Borrow money from friends and/or family, go through a bail bondsman, pawn something, there are ways people who make bond can be out while awaiting the determination of their case. It’s usually a good thing. Not all bad actions warrant throwing away the key, but isn’t it in the best interest of other citizens that they know who the who what, where and why rather than be broad-sided in “a negative way” by an alleged/accused/proven guilty offender. “Premature expungement” primarily serves the person who has done wrong and been convicted. Redaction is essentially the same thing, “covering up” by marking out. I understand there are people whose photos and info aren’t splashed across the media because of specific and extenuating circumstances, i.e. undercover work, informant protection, sensitive security risks and the like. THAT is when these options could come into play, not BEFORE the process that we average citizens would be expected to slog through ad nauseum. Good attorneys can be hard to come by, if you don’t “know people”.

    Mr. Barbee’s explanation, “I have spent approximately 20 years putting people in jail for some very serious crimes. Unfortunately, my career choices place my family in serious danger” and, “Applying the statutory exemption has nothing to do with me being an “influential daddy” and everything to do with protecting my family” Here’s the thing. Anyone can Google Mr. Barbee and glean bits and pieces of info about him and his family. For instance: “In 1997, after the birth of Jenna, Don and his family relocated to Hernando County…..” ” He has a wife and two young daughters”, “He and his family participate in many local running events…..”
    One could easily find pictures of Mr. Barbee and his family at different events and whatever. He’s a public figure. I am impressed with Don Barbee’s background and credentials. I know I couldn’t do it. I believe him to be sincere in his concern about the safety of his family. That’s what parents do. His past and present jobs HAVE placed him in a somewhat unique situation, certainly more so than the majority of us. But then, it comes with the territory- at least, for the past 20 years. It just appears to me to be a rather convenient and timely INCREASED concern, under the circumstances. In spite of Mr. Barbee’s position as a parent or public official, I don’t see how his daughter’s predicament rises to that “Code Red” level.C’mon. Really?

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 4:30 pm
  • Boni, lmao, yep that’s where they are.Maybe the judge will take those great opportunities he has been offered and passed up and take his thief of a daughter with him.

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 4:14 pm
  • Witholding of names of children and spouses of former state attorneys is NOT covered by the statute. Photographs are covered. Her name should have been published in association with the arrest. In any case, it’s ‘out there’ now and the law must be followed.

    FL statutes chapter 119.07(1).
    d.(I) The home addresses, telephone numbers, social security numbers, dates of birth, and photographs of current or former state attorneys, assistant state attorneys, statewide prosecutors, or assistant statewide prosecutors; the home addresses, telephone numbers, social security numbers, photographs, dates of birth, and places of employment of the spouses and children of current or former state attorneys, assistant state attorneys, statewide prosecutors, or assistant statewide prosecutors; and the names and locations of schools and day care facilities attended by the children of current or former state attorneys, assistant state attorneys, statewide prosecutors, or assistant statewide prosecutors are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 4:06 pm
  • Hit your wife in face with pumpkin seeds –go to jail! Hit husband in head with piggy bank–go to jail!! Grab your husband balls –go to jail. STEAL $2300.00 from Target — cover up happens = Priceless cause daddy is da JUDGE. Smdh A thief is a thief period.

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 4:05 pm
  • The power of privilege and the privilege of power!

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 3:23 pm
  • And this is why the Country is in the shape it’s in. Maybe the records are right next to Obama’s Birth Certificates?.

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 3:20 pm
  • She shouldn’t be treated any less,if it were someone stealing from Walmart or publix you better believe they would have been plastered all over the front page!! Disgraceful beyond words.Corrupution starts @ the top not surprised.

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 3:13 pm
  • Goes to show.. its who you know in this town .. If you are the upper class men then you wont have to worry about the media smearing your family for the mistakes of other members but, just some joe smoe and your life can be changed forever… shows money is what matters … 🙁 Genuinely Not Fair …

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 3:12 pm
  • Bulls××t thats so screwed up she should have her pic up and posted like the other criminals

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 1:56 pm
  • Ive known Don for years and years. He always was a nice person that would always go out of his way for people from all walks of life. I have nothing negative to say about him. He has put himself in harms way more than once to protect families in the community from violent criminals. All that aside. Why the $2300? Don makes a good salary and I personally know he would and has made sacrifices to give his family a better life. Hes given up major opportunity to be here. His daughter really should be ashamed. She disrespected a great father. If she needed the money he would of made it happen with out hesitation. She really made some terrible stupid decisions. I just can not grasp the motivation behind this.

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 1:56 pm
  • I agree with Joe, she may have learned something. The previous Clerk would never have done such a thing. She too was friends with the Sheriff but never asked for special favors. Mr. Barbee should be ashamed of himself. Mr. Barbee brags a lot about how wonderful he is (just look at the Clerk website) but he is just as much a crook as his daughter by covering up for her. You have to wonder what he is doing and what he is covering up in his management of the Clerk’s Office.

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 1:33 pm
  • The TB Times sucks…as for Barbee’s thieving punk daughter…that’s a felony…but daddy will have it dropped to a misdemeanor…smh..

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 1:17 pm
  • Meant to say 18=ADULT. Doesn’t necessarily make them smart, but they should be responsible, and therefore held accountable for their actions.

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 1:16 pm
  • This is just wrong. Dad also used influence during JROTC high school in which the daughter threw in others face. Its not fair and should be stopped. So many others had suffered from there actions. They need to be treated as any other citizen regardless of money, color or influence! Next they will try and get away with it all and pressure target. Where is FDLE and DOJ!

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 1:16 pm
  • I support the deputies 100% in Hernando county, but the sheriff is just a politician who can’t be trusted, I agree with the aforementioned opinion that he and Barbee probably plotted to cover this story up. A parent has there hands full in trying to develop children in this day and age but when they become felons, you can’t hide it under any disguise, they as the parent are exposed. Politics in Hernando county remind me of 1930s Chicago, be bought and be self serving.

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 1:15 pm
  • one thing that i regret ever doing is using my friends and others by asking for favors so to keep one of mine out of trouble when they were young. at the time i thought it was the right thing to do as a parent and for the embarrassment that goes along with it. but once then twice and it seemed that all i was doing was saying go ahead i’ll take care of it. all i managed to do is lose friends because enough is enough. many young people have gotten a break and taken the mulligan and never got in anymore trouble and that’s great, but some just do not. it doesn’t matter what job you do now or what you’ve done in the past or how some people say s//t like you didn’t raise your child right, that’s bull**** and anyone with children know they will do whatever they set their mind to and you can preach all you want it does no good. so i take blame for my wrong decision making when i thought i was doing the correct thing. if they can get a job then they can stand good for their own deceptions. i sure wish i would of stayed the hell out of it and let it run it’s coarse. maybe it would of detoured them back to the honest life. like they say – hind site is twenty twenty.

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 1:13 pm
  • Wow two feds hiding something thats new.. No biggie EVERYONE HAVE A COLD BLESSED DAY

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 1:07 pm
  • I stand by Dan Dewitt for the courage to break this story. Hiding behind some obscure law, Mr Barbee is no better than any citizen he serves and public opinion says high profile or not, we have the right to know what is going on. Right Nick.

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 1:06 pm
  • This young lady is going to have to pay for this for the rest of her life. It’s not as if her Dad was able to get the charges dropped. So what her picture wasn’t published. I think it is ridiculous that people are criticizing how she was raised or somehow this is karma. Such judgmental proliferating from so many obviously perfect people. My thoughts are with the entire family during this very difficult time.

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 12:56 pm
  • The role of the press is to act as a watchdog over our elected officials and government in general. Most traditional newspapers got that, even if there was bias there. It’s one of the thinks I find most disturbing about this site. It is more of a local government mouthpiece than anything else. Not a watchdog at all, unless forced to.

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 12:56 pm
  • Globalguy,

    The non-profit Poynter Institute owns the Tampa Bay Times, and Federal Election Commission data shows the organization, nor its president, have made any political contributions going back to the start of its readily available data in 2008.

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 12:54 pm
  • Should be public. I don’t care which good old boy she belongs to.

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 12:16 pm
  • Mugshot please.

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 12:00 pm
  • There would have been no chance of potential harm from criminals and thus, no liability, if her address was redacted (per the statute) and her photo was not published. No one can do anything with just a name, uncommon as Barbee is. The rest of the info should have been published. This looks bad…not only for Jenna but for Mr barbee and the Sherriff. i wonder who ratted them out? This nonsense in Hernando County has to stop.

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 11:48 am
  • B. S. Don Barbee has not do “great” things for this county. He is a Political Snake!!! He has quickly destroyed what took Karen Nicolai 30 years to create. He has destroyed families and careers. He’s a peace of crap!

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 11:46 am
  • Yeah… Her arrest posted as anybody elses would have on that day. She is facing the same charges as anyone else would. Your right no mug or address. Its WAY worse its all over the news!!!

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 11:34 am
  • This is just plain wrong!

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 11:30 am
  • Kristen Howard has used her dads name to get out of lots of dui’s. We were drinking at jerseys with her one night and she was so beyond drunk she could barely stand up. She refused to give up her keys and told us “I can do whatever I want to, my dads a judge, I get pulled over all the time”. Her arrogance and fear for her safety (and others) prompted my friend to call 911 with a discription of her car, plate number and her first name. Deputy’s showed up and when she exited the parking lot they did in fact pull her over. They had her out stumbling all around on the side of the road but Kristen was right. She got no DUI. Her car was parked and someone came and got her. I guarantee she’s still getting away with it to this day. She didn’t even get the full DUI consequence like a normal person would in 2014, she was sentenced to wreckless operation.

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 11:28 am
  • 2300 dollars is first degree grand theft and a felony, not fraud which can be transferred to civil court and erased. Thank you DeWitt no matter what your political leanings – the truth is the truth.
    This was extremely damped down, if it were a nobody they could get massive felonies for being outside after sundown.
    Barbee is pretty much out there, if he has the big enemies like claimed they could find him without the girls picture. Maybe he should go back over those cases where he saved the public by being so rough on the accused and see if he could have done something different.
    On the other hand I hope the girl turns around and I hope some people begin to realize that our public officials aren’t any better than us and should quit acting like they are, especially with putting so many people in prison.

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 11:27 am
  • Raising children in this day and time is a difficult task. You do the best you can and try to instill good judgement in making choices in life. Some will fall victim of poor choices, and have to face the consequences for them, but to condemn the parents is not always right. I know many excellent parents who may have that one child that goes astray. I assure you, the parents feel the pain and really do not need to hear from people that enjoy hearing stories like this. The fact that he is a public figure makes him open to additional insults, but I assure you this can happen to even the best parents. She made a bad choice, and a serious mistake, but it happens and she will learn a hard lesson. Don’t bash the father because he is in the public eye. He has a difficult job, and I am sure he feels bad enough.

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 11:19 am
  • Ah, don’t you just love an election year? !8=ADULT!

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 11:13 am
  • Want to give them your dissatisfaction of this scandal then get rid of NIenhuis and Barbee out of office this coming election. I will, we don’t need corrupt scumbags in office that thinks that laws should only be applied to the people only and not them.

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 11:08 am
  • must be nice to do the crime and not do the time and not have your picture online like all the other criminals cause daddys a big wig. once a thief always a thief she will be back in jail and i hope they publish her info next time.

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 10:47 am
  • Globalguy hit this square on the head. TBT is nothing more than an extreme liberal rag that’s only good for kennel flooring. That DeWitt is a complete clown that is hugely biased.

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 10:30 am
  • Ms Taylor is not about what the daughter did ..we all make mistakes. What is disturbing is the cover up. To give special treatment because the ” law allows it” doesn’t mean it should be done. If Barbee wasn’t a buddy of the sheriff it would have been on blast. I am disappointed that RNRF hid the story…very dirty Tom..why don’t you stop reporting everyone’s name and photos till they are CONVICTED..not accused..everyone innocent till proven guilty..seems “the law would allow that too” doing research many officials stories go public such as the judge in Citrus . sad to know the dads first concern was to cover his ass and save embarrassment. Let your child face the music like all of US. May have taught a valuable lesson..not the one you taught!

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 10:30 am
  • Concerned Dennis Purdy of Hernando county. Any story about local government ques the great troll of Hernando county. I’m sure the sheriff and don plotted together on this great cover up (that was posted on the hcso site when it happened) of a teen who stole something (woo!) Don Barbee has done a lot for this county. What have you done you troll?

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 10:29 am
  • The Times is a totally biased rag! The Tribune is a smaller but a much better paper!

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 10:25 am
  • She should face the music like any other thief . What she did was totally wrong and it should not be covered up.. Typical small town , good ole boy politics……Shame on you all.

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 10:13 am
  • The owners of the rag also known as the Tampa Bay Times are major contributors to the Clinton Foundation, Hillary for President and most other liberal causes.
    Their have been several recent articles revealing their TAINTED “fact check” section that appears in that paper. Very bias toward liberal politicians and causes while taking a word out of a conservative politicians speech to turn the story to “false”.
    Mr. DeWitt and the paper he is employed by have been crusading for a long time against conservative office holders in Hernando County.
    Tom, you provide real news that is truthful and factual (like the story above). You take no sides and give equal opportunity for comments from all who wish to do so. They unfortunately are very one sided with only liberal rebuttal permitted. Have been and always will be under current owners.

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 10:08 am
  • Ahhh yes, another coverup by Sherriff Nuthouse. Shame!

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 10:05 am
  • Only the ‘little people’ get to be publicly humiliated, even for lesser crimes.

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 9:53 am
  • I think thats bull****. She should have her picture up and information thrown out there just like any other piece of shit. It doesn’t matter who her damn daddy is. Daddy should have raised her better now she thinks she can get away with s**t… B.S.

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 9:52 am
  • Don is an awesome man and has a great family. Everyone should understand we can’t control every move our children take. Our children eventually make their own decisions. I cannot imagine how Don and his wife must feel. This could happen to anyone.

    Saturday, 23 January 2016, 9:48 am

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