Gov. Scott names Brad Whitehead as Union County sheriff

Published: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 9:03 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 9:03 p.m.

The son of the late Union County Sheriff Jerry Whitehead has been appointed to replace his father, who died last month.

Brad Whitehead thus becomes the third generation of his family to be the top lawman in Union County.

Brad Whitehead, 37, was tapped to replace Jerry Whitehead by Gov. Rick Scott, according to a press release from Scott's office issued Wednesday evening. His term will end Nov. 4.

Maj. Garry Seay had been serving as interim sheriff since Jerry Whitehead's death.

Sheriff's Lt. Lyn Williams said Brad Whitehead is the second eldest of Jerry Whitehead's children.

Brad Whitehead has followed in his family's career path in law enforcement. He has worked as the assistant warden of programs for the Florida Department of Corrections since 2012. He previously served as the assistant warden of operations and as the senior prison inspector within the Office of the Inspector General, according to the press release.

From 1998 through 2003, he served as a law enforcement detective for the state Fire Marshal's Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations. He received his bachelor's degree from Florida State University.

“I am confident that Brad Whitehead will be a great sheriff. His experience in law enforcement has prepared him to serve the families of Union County,” Scott said in the release.

Jerry Whitehead, 60, died Dec. 18 from cardiac arrest following a brief hospitalization. He had been sheriff since 1985 and was the longest serving sheriff in Florida at the time of his death.

“To many, he was Sheriff Whitehead, but to me and my siblings, he was dad, and our hero,” Brad Whitehead said at the funeral. “My dad was a people person who loved his community, which he served for 29 years as sheriff. And he loved his family and friends. If you didn't know him, you got to know him. That's just the kind of man he was.”

Brad Whitehead's grandfather, John H. Whitehead, also served as sheriff and was followed by Jerry Whitehead.

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