Sheriff’s swagger loses luster: Clay County’s once-promising top lawman is under scrutiny
Florida Times Union
By Eileen Kelley
Jun 30, 2019
They spoke on the phone about four times a month. The older man understood military life, the younger man was just stepping into it.
Darryl Daniels cautioned Larry Smith about the pitfalls of having to leave a spouse for extended periods when out in the field. He guided him on how to develop a strong, committed marriage. To Smith, the former Navy man turned sheriff’s officer was a mentor.
Smith’s wife, Cierra, introduced the two as he got ready to graduate from Florida A and M University and be commissioned in the U.S. Army.
Cierra Smith had worked for Daniels at the Duval County jail since 2013. She called him “Uncle D.” She seemed to revere Daniels, a man twice her age.
Larry Smith said he didn’t look to Daniels in the same father-figure way, although he did respect him for his sacrifices as a military man and law officer.
When Cierra and Larry Smith held their wedding reception in September 2015, Cierra picked Daniels — not a best friend or relative — to give the bridal toast. Larry Smith selected his younger brother.
Fifteen months later, Larry Smith discovered a trove of emails between his wife and Daniels. They were rife with stories and reflections of the things Daniels and Cierra Smith had done together while Smith was likely out in the field for the Army. He then came across a video link on his wife’s iPad.
He clicked on the link and a video popped onto the screen, a video that stunned him. The images showed his wife performing a sex act on his mentor, her boss, the chief of the Duval County jail at the time. Both were in their uniforms. They were in an office, Larry Smith would later tell investigators with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
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