MIDDLEBURG, Fla. — Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels publicly apologized to his wife during a budget meeting Tuesday night, months after revelations of an affair the sheriff had with a Duval County Jail employee.

The affair sparked a criminal investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement into the dealings of Daniels and the sheriff's office.

“I just want to apologize before y'all,” Daniels said. “You know how you say, 'I want to say it before God and everybody?' I want to make sure that everyone understands that -- Denise Daniels? I love that woman.”

That was one of two messages Daniels discussed Tuesday night.
The other was the topic at hand -- the budget. At a public meeting in Middleburg, the sheriff discussed what his office needs in order to do its best job in terms of safety.

The meeting concerned a request for $4.9 million Daniels says he needs to fund updated technologies, new hires and to remain compensation-competitive in a world where he says employees often leave for bigger money elsewhere.

As for his personal issues that are now public, the sheriff addressed those proactively. When one citizen asked him whether those issues are causing any of the attrition in his office, Daniels flatly said "no."

“I think the sheriff's office is just as effective as it has always been,” Daniels said. “I think morale is pretty decent in the sheriff's office, no different than any other sheriff's office.”

Never one to mince words, Daniels says he's trying to tone down some of his rhetoric, but he emphasized that he has a job to do.

To his citizens, he said "We will keep you safe," and, keeping with his trademark bravado, warned criminals "We will hand you your rear end" regardless of budget.

Daniels says he's about 80 percent confident he'll get the $4.9 million he's requesting.

He'll likely get his answer in late September, just days before the new budget takes effect Oct. 1.

RELATED: Wife of Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels files for divorce

RELATED: Clay County sheriff’s mistress resigns from Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office

RELATED: Clay County Sheriff makes unprecedented $10 million request for sheriff's office improvements

RELATED: Sheriff’s swagger loses luster: Clay County’s once-promising top law man is under scrutiny

RELATED: FDLE launches criminal investigation into dealings of Sheriff Darryl Daniels, Clay County Sheriff's Office

RELATED: 'He is losing touch with reality and appears violent': Complaint letter begs governor's help with Sheriff Daniels

RELATED: Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels resigns from school's board of directors

RELATED: Clay County leaders call Sheriff's Office budget proposal 'unprecedented'

RELATED: Clay County Sheriff dodges questions about scandal that has rocked his office

RELATED: Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels resigns as trustee at Orange Park Medical Center

RELATED: Clay County Sheriff makes limited statement about affair, and his agency's arrest of his ex-lover

RELATED: Clay County residents split over sheriff controversy

RELATED: Girlfriend’s statement 'creamed' the sheriff, according to Clay County Sheriff’s lieutenant

RELATED: MEMO: Law enforcement officials 'not comfortable' with arrest of sheriff's girlfriend

RELATED: Radio calls released from alleged stalking incident involving Clay County Sheriff

RELATED: Clay County Sheriff's ex-girlfriend calls her arrest unfair, unjustified

RELATED: Investigation, stalking complaint surface involving Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels

RELATED: UPDATE | Clay County sheriff gave money to woman he had affair with over a period of several years