Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw challenged by Alex Freeman in Democratic primary

Former Riviera Beach police major hopes to defeat sheriff since 2004
Ric Bradshaw and Alex Freeman, Democratic candidates for Palm Beach County sheriff
Posted at 3:20 PM, Aug 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-17 15:29:11-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Ric Bradshaw is seeking a fifth term as sheriff of Palm Beach County.

Bradshaw, who was first elected in 2004, is being challenged by Alex Freeman in Tuesday's Democratic primary.

Freeman was a major in the Riviera Beach Police Department, but he has a checkered history during his time there.

Hired in 1993, Freeman was suspended in 1998 after a Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation found him guilty of perjury during official proceedings. He returned to the Riviera Beach Police Department after being suspended for several months.

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Then in 2008, an officer reported Freeman held him against his will in his office and threatened him with disciplinary actions.

Freeman, who resigned under pressure in 2018, sought to become Riviera Beach's police chief, but former City Manager Jonathan Evans rejected the application, saying Freeman wasn't qualified for the job. A few weeks later, Evans was fired.

According to an internal memorandum obtained by Contact 5 in 2018, the assistant police chief at the time recommended that Freeman resign or be fired.

Bradshaw touts his decades of law enforcement experience as the reason voters should re-elect him.

The winner of the Democratic primary will face Republican challenger Lauro Diaz in November. Diaz is a retired captain with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

If Bradshaw wins another four-year term, he will become the longest-serving sheriff in Palm Beach County.