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Six apply to be interim Pinellas County sheriff

Gov. Rick Scott will have at least six candidates to consider for interim Pinellas County sheriff, after two more threw their hats in the ring Monday, the last day to apply.

Lawyer Everett Rice, a former Pinellas sheriff and a candidate for the permanent job, sent in his application for the interim post Monday. So did Larry Maynard, a corporal in the Florida Highway Patrol.

Rice said earlier that a candidate for the permanent position should not be appointed as interim sheriff because it could boost the candidate's campaign for office.

He repeated that position in his application.

"While I sincerely believe that it is (in) your own best interest not to appoint any person that is a declared candidate for this office, if you are going to do that, then I submit that I am the logical and best qualified candidate in this matter," Rice wrote.

One of the other applicants for the interim post, Chief Deputy Bob Gualtieri, is also running for sheriff in next year's election.

Scott is scheduled to appoint an interim sheriff by Oct. 15. The current sheriff, Jim Coats, recently announced that he plans to retire early, on Nov. 7, to spend more time with his wife, who is undergoing treatment for breast cancer.

While candidates technically could apply until midnight Monday, these were the applicants for interim sheriff at the close of business:

• Dale "Rob" Bradshaw, 55, an Ocala lawyer and Gulf County reserve deputy trying for sheriff in either Pinellas or Wakulla County.

• Gualtieri, 49, a lawyer who has worked in law enforcement most of the past three decades and has been chief deputy since 2006.

• Dean LaChance, 58, retired from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office in 2010 as captain after 37 years with the agency, 28 in supervisory roles.

• Maynard, 58, a U.S. Navy veteran who has been a traffic homicide investigator for the FHP since 2003.

• Rice, 67, a lawyer who served two years in the Florida Legislature and was Pinellas sheriff from 1988 to 2004.

• Michael "Mike" Rogers, 58, a U.S. Air Force veteran who retired from the Sheriff's Office as a sergeant after 31 years.

Six apply to be interim Pinellas County sheriff 09/12/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 12:46am]

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