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Alachua County Sheriff fires deputy after criminal charges dropped

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Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell has fired a deputy after child abuse charges against him were dropped.

The sheriff's office released a statement Thursday saying Darnell fired Deputy Clinton Ferguson.

Gainesville Police arrested Ferguson in February on child abuse charges but a judge dismissed those charges last month.

The sheriff's office says Ferguson, who's been on administrative leave since his arrest, will be fired anyway based on its own internal investigation that found criminal conduct.

Ferguson has been with the Alachua County Sheriff's Office since November, 1999. He is entitled to appeal the decision during a Loudermill hearing.

The sheriff's office has declined to answer any more questions about the case.

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