Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed Emery Gainey as the new Alachua County Sheriff to take the place of the outgoing Clovis Watson Jr. starting Oct. 2.
According to the press release from the Governor’s office, “Gainey is the former Chief of Staff for the Florida Attorney General’s Office. Previously, he was appointed as the Sheriff of Marion County and served as Chief of Staff for the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office. Gainey earned his associate degree from Santa Fe College and his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Florida.”
Watson announced his last day in office will be on Oct. 1 after he sent a letter to DeSantis on July 31 declaring that he would step down from his elected term early due to health reasons.
Watson added in his letter that whoever is appointed to complete his term would be, “supported by a workforce comprised of support staff and deputy sheriffs who are committed to keeping our entire community safe.”
The letter concluded with Watson saying that he would use his remaining time in office to help the ACSO prepare for a smooth transition to new leadership.
On June 21, Watson announced he would not seek re-election in 2024.
According to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office website, “Gainey was born, and grew up in Gainesville, Florida. He started his Law Enforcement career in 1982 with the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office. He worked his way up the ranks eventually becoming Chief Deputy under Sheriff Steve Oelrich. Gainey is a graduate of the University of Florida, with a BA in criminal justice. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy, 188th session (January – March 1997).”