Buddy Phillips, sheriff to Florida, has died
John M. "Buddy" Phillips, Jr., the retired executive director of the Florida Sheriffs Association and the frequent interim sheriff in various counties after a scandal erupts, passed away in his sleep about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Jo; a son, Mike; and a daughter, Cheri. No arrangements have been made at this time.
Phillips was frequently tapped to take over for sheriff's removed from office. As recently as 2004, Gov. Jeb Bush appointed him as Lake County sheriff after Sheriff George Knupp Jr. was indicted on perjury charges.
In Tampa Bay, Phillips also briefly shepherded the Pasco County sheriff's office in 1984 after Sheriff John Short indicted and suspended.
-- Joni James, Times state editor