Fields: Sheriff Tony Had No Right To Hide Killing









We’ve all heard the story that Sheriff Greg Tony was arrested for killing a drug dealer when he was a juvenile and that the charges were dropped and the record sealed.

Because he was a juvenile and the record was sealed, he and his supporters insist the that he did not have to divulge this when he became a cop.






There is no Constitutional right to seal a record. It is a statute [943.059] controlled by the will of the Legislature.

The law states sealed criminal records remain confidential with several exceptions.

Number one is this: “…a candidate for employment with a criminal justice agency.”

[Number 4 is joining the Florida Bar]

There is nothing that limits this to records sealed in Florida or excludes cases you won.

Therefore he would have to divulge this incident and cooperate in opening the Pennsylvania record.

Failure to divulge is a 3rd degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in jail.


Ever hear of the NCIC? It stands of National Crime Information Center and is run by the FBI. State and local arrests are included reporting. It has records of 99% of arrests and 100% of homicides regardless of the the age of the accused.

It goes back to 1967.

State sealings have zero effect on NCIC records.

It is available to law enforcement and other government agencies doing background checks on people applying for government jobs.

Did the people vetting Tony for Gov. Ron DeSantis not bother or did they keep the results under wraps?


(Sam Fields is a Plantation lawyer and a veteran Broward political operative and observer.) 

14 Responses to “Fields: Sheriff Tony Had No Right To Hide Killing”

  1. Ha Ha Ha says:

    I believe Mr. Fields’ interpretation of FS 943.059 is incorrect, according to the evidence Mr. Fields has presented thus far.

    FS 943.059 (1) through (6)(a), plus (6)(c) and (6)(d), collectively relate only to the process by which Florida criminal records may be sealed and the effect thereof.

    FS 943.059 (6)(b) relates only to “A criminal history record of a minor or an adult which is ordered sealed by a court pursuant to this section“, which plainly refers to the preceding and following text concerning the process for sealing Florida criminal records.

    The text of this statute says exactly nothing about criminal records which have been sealed by other states. However, as you know, “Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State.” (US Constitution, Article IV, Section 1) Thus Florida is obligated to respect whatever action was taken by the state of Pennsylvania regarding Tony’s court proceedings.

    Since it appears that all of the Pennsylvania court records related to this 1993 case have been lost, and since (per Mr. Fields’ own statement) “State sealings have zero effect on NCIC records”, any attempt by the state of Florida or its political subdivisions to prove that the records of this case were not sealed would almost certainly fail to meet the standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt”.

    If Pennsylvania law (as of 1993) regarding sealed court cases contained a provision comparable to FS 943.059 (6)(c) and also does not contain a provision comparable to FS 943.059 (6)(b)(1), then Tony’s argument that he was not required to disclose the case would seem to be completely valid.

    Alternatively, if Pennsylvania law (as of 1993) did not contain a provision comparable to FS 943.059 (6)(b)(1), then Tony’s failure to disclose the case may have been unlawful.

    Mr. Fields, do you know of a good Philadelphia lawyer who would be kind enough to explain the perspective of the Pennsylvania law of 1993 on this situation?


    Although Fields wrote about the records being sealed, keep in mind that the media storm surrounding Sheriff Tony is not whether the case was sealed or not sealed. The media in this case is largely interested in his hiding his past.

    He hid the entire incident repeatedly from prospective employers and others when asked about his past. It leads many to wonder what else is lurking in his past?

  2. Straight Shooter says:

    he shot the drug dealer with one shot. right on target. he gets my vote. right on target!

  3. LEO Professor says:

    I’m continually annoyed that most if not all media reports continually mis-represent that Tony’s criminal history record was “sealed”; it was not “sealed”. Pennsylvania law requires the expungement of any criminal history upon the non-adjudication of the juvenile. Pennsylvania law directs the keeper of the criminal history records, the Pennsylvania State Police, to destroy all records including fingerprints and photos. The Pennsylvania State Police is required to delete the CJIS records which is what is queried via NCIC. Tony should have disclosed his Pennsylvania criminal history that was expunged and should be criminally charged in Florida for his very serious misrepresentations. He has zero business being in law enforcement never mind Sheriff. Disgusting. I would hope some media outlet would get the record straight regarding “sealed” versus “expungement”.

  4. Broward Native says:

    The interim sheriff has a tremendous ego and his arrogance makes him feel he is above the law. He has no business leading a body of individuals who are held to a higher standard than he has to abide by. He made conscience efforts to lie time after time throughout his career by not disclosing his involvement on the other side of the law. The questions were an elementary yes or no. What’s more appalling is the elected officials here in Broward who continue to support him. Not one municipality would allow their police chief or police officer to stay employed had revelations like these come to light. Wake up Broward County!!

  5. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    People who blog ‘Legal Opinions’ WITHOUT SIGNING TBEIR NAMES so you can check THEIR CREDENTIALS shOuld be IGNORED

  6. Ha Ha Ha says:

    @3 LEO Professor – Thanks for these clarifications!

    What Is Expungement?

    Expungement refers to the process of sealing arrest and conviction records. Virtually every state has enacted laws that allow people to expunge arrests and convictions from their records. Though the details can vary from one state to the next, most states’ laws provide that once an arrest or conviction has been expunged, it need not be disclosed, including to potential employers or landlords.

    Buddy complains that Tony was “hiding his past”, but that is precisely what Pennsylvania’s expungement law (along with expungement law in every other state) is designed to accomplish!

    Pennsylvania’s expungement law expresses and implements a firmly held public policy that juveniles who are not adjudicated (found guilty) MUST have their case records destroyed completely.

    Pennsylvania clearly intends to ensure that the existence of such a case is never disclosed to anyone – “including potential employers and landlords”.

    Fields and Buddy are both wrong. Here, Sheriff Tony did exactly what he was supposed to do. This is not a valid basis for criticism.

  7. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    Bottom line he was not truthful.Was he deceptive questionable.Then to note he changed his last name from Toney,to Tony,which also raises my statement was he being deceptive.Voters will make the decesion in the Primary come August..

  8. LEO Professor says:

    “Ha Ha Ha says:” respectfully you’re incorrect.

    Florida law requires the applicant disclose any sealed and/or expunged records to be disclosed when applying for employment with a criminal justice agency. Pennsylvania law is not applicable nor controlling in this situation. Furthermore, the withholding of such information from a federal top level security clearance also requires such disclosures. The omission is considered “fraud by omission” and exposes the applicant to being.charged by the USA. Tony has a pending top level security clearance and only currently has a general security clearance which is highly limited/restricted. He will now never receive a top level clearance and will possibly face federal charges for the application. However, it would occur post-election as the DOJ has a policy not to charge any politician during the election process.

  9. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    Ok so we have a three way race going Primary in August.Being Al Polluck( who I had heard great things about- it’s refreshing when I hear certain residents and how well liked they r.2- Current appointed Sheriff Toney( excuse remember your alias Robert)3.Former sheriff Scott Israel ( your like me 50 percent love and the other 50 percent- not so much.Who prevails.This is a tough one.

  10. Scott Perrin says:

    Buddy when are you going to be reaching out to Mr. pollock as promised early last year? I’d like to hear his idea’s and his campaigns agenda to make the Broward Sheriff’s Office respectable once more.

  11. Real Deal says:

    It is obvious that Greg Tony acted intentionally to avert discovery of his past criminal arrest and prior drug use in his Coral Springs PD application. Greg Tony lied on his application and this is a felony that cannot be casually excused. It is equally obvious that his background check by Coral Springs PD was not carried out properly if at all. His personal conduct in other ways, I will leave it that, is unbecoming a law enforcement officer and is in itself constitutes grounds for termination as a police officer. Beyond being socially reprehensible, any criminal could have used information regarding his personal behavior to coerce his official actions. That’s why police must live to a higher standard than ordinary civilians. They are not ordinary civilians when off duty,and are paid and sworn under oath to live up to a higher standard. More concerning, the Governor did not vet this applicant before appointing him Sheriff. Sloppiness alone does not begin to excuse that error or any of these events. Tony lacks credibility and stature to be Sheriff.
    He does not possess and has not demonstrated the character needed to hold that position or any in law enforcement.

  12. Ha Ha Ha says:

    @8 LEO Professor – Your claim that “Florida law requires the applicant disclose any sealed and/or expunged records to be disclosed when applying for employment with a criminal justice agency” is incorrect.

    Florida law permits criminal justice agencies to access sealed and/or expunged court records located within Florida (per FS 943.059 (6)(b)(1)), but does not require that they do so.

    Nor does Florida law prohibit criminal justice agencies from hiring police officers who have not been convicted of any crime and whose court records have been sealed or expunged.

    Florida law also does not require that criminal justice agencies even ask applicants about such situations.

    What Florida law does require is that police officer applicants “Not have been convicted of any felony or of a misdemeanor involving perjury or a false statement, or have received a dishonorable discharge from any of the Armed Forces of the United States. ” (per FS 943.13(4)).

    Sheriff Tony has no such convictions, nor does he have a dishonorable discharge, and he is also 100% compliant with all of the other requirements listed in FS 943.13, so as far as Florida law is concerned Mr. Tony can be legally hired as a police officer in Florida and Mr. Tony can legally work as a police officer in Florida.

  13. LEO Professor says:

    To Ha Ha Ha says

    Your reply is very well nuanced but ultimately incorrect. You cited a statute that I did not but I am familiar with. The Florida law to which I was referring is that the applicant must certify to FDLE that they have not had any criminal history record sealed or expunged. Tony completed the form falsely claiming that he had not which violation is a 2nd degree misdemeanor and typically results in the revocation of one’s LEO certification. That last part should occur post-election resulting in his ultimate decertification.

  14. Ha Ha Ha says:

    @13 LEO Professor – Your analysis is still incorrect.

    The FDLE form you are referring to is CJSTC-68, which can be viewed here:

    and the statute to which it refers is FS 837.06, which can be viewed here:

    The form asks about the sealing or expungement of a “criminal record”, and warns against “intentional omission”. The statute only prohibits “knowingly” making a false official statement.

    FDLE Form CJSTC-68’s question regarding the sealing or expungement of a criminal record does not relate to Mr. Tony’s situation at all. Mr. Tony was not convicted of any crime and therefore does not have a “criminal record”. Accordingly, Tony can truthfully answer “No” in response to CJSTC-68’s Question 4.

    Moreover, even if you attempt to argue that Tony’s response to Question 4 should have been “Yes”, the wording of Question 4 makes it essentially impossible for any prosecutor to prove that Mr. Tony “knowingly” made a false statement when answering that question.