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Jacksonville lawmaker wants to help officers get off list of troubled cops Brady List

The bill would let officers challenge a list used to identify cops who’ve been dishonest or convicted of a crime.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Jacksonville lawmaker wants to make changes to the so-called “Brady List” of troubled police officers.

Rep. Wyman Duggan (R-Jacksonville) is sponsoring a bill that would require state prosecutors to allow officers whose names are placed on the Brady List appeal that decision.

Brady material is evidence that must, by law, be turned over to defendants in criminal cases. The Brady list compiled by local prosecutors consists of officers who’ve either been convicted of a crime or been found to be untruthful. 

Jacksonville's police union has pushed for changes to the list, saying being placed on it damages officers’ reputations and denies them due process. Duggan won the union’s endorsement in the November elections. 

As of January 2023, there are 90 officers on the list maintained by the 4th Circuit State Attorney, which includes Duval, Clay and Nassau counties. Not all prosecutors maintain a formal list, though the disclosure of an officer's troubled history is required, regardless. Among the reasons officers are on the list: DUI, domestic battery, sexual assault, evidence tampering, official misconduct and falsifying reports. 

Duggan's bill would create a process by which officers could appeal -- and even forestall -- being placed on the list. The bill requires prosecutors to notify officers prior to adding their name to the list. 

It would allow them to "review the findings of the prosecuting agency and provide input to the prosecuting agency before the name and information of the officer is placed on a Brady Giglio list." (The list is sometimes called the Brady/Giglio list; Brady signifying potentially exculpatory evidence that must be turned over to defendants, and Giglio related to some deficiency with the testimony of a specific witness.)

It also allow an "officer to request reconsideration," and would require prosecutors demonstrate the officer belongs on the list "by clear and convincing evidence" -- a legal standard used in some criminal proceedings.

While most officers are no longer working, First Coast News reported in February that two Jacksonville Brady List officers were still on the job. Soon after that story appeared, a series of extraordinary legal maneuvers resulted in one of those officers, Sgt. J.C. Nobles, being taken off the list.

An updated list obtained by First Coast News in January again included Nobles' name. However, in a statement, a spokesperson for the State Attorney said that was an inadvertent error:

"Nobles had been removed some time ago in previous iterations of this list — his inclusion on the list you received recently was inadvertent. Public records will be sending you the updated list shortly."

This is the updated list

Coming off the list

Nobles was initially placed on the list after Circuit Judge Bruce Anderson issued a 2018 order in which said Nobles was “not credible" and “evasive" in his testimony. He said Nobles “had to change his story” under oath in order to support his claim of probable cause for a traffic stop. Anderson threw the case out of court.

Nobles always objected to being on the list, and in early April, the State Attorney’s Office filed an unprecedented “motion for clarification” in the long-closed case – directly asking Judge Anderson if he thought Nobles was a liar.

"…[T]he State of Florida seeks further clarification of this Court’s Order to determine whether the state is legally obligated to continue to disclose Sgt. Nobles name on the [Brady] list," the state's motion read. It added, “For Brady purposes, there is a significant difference between the Court having found that Sgt. Nobles lied or was intentionally deceptive, as opposed to having made an honest mistake in his deposition."

Five days after the motion was filed, Judge Anderson issued a new order, saying he never “believed nor found that Sgt. Nobles ‘lied’ … endeavored to intentionally mislead or deceive …or otherwise commit perjury.”

He added, “the Court never intended for its findings weighing the credibility of Sgt. Nobles’ testimony to have any import beyond” the 2018 case.

Two weeks later, Nobles was off the Brady List.

In his nearly 20 years with JSO, accumulated 65 discipline complaints. He has the third-most complaints of any officer, and the most unnecessary force complaints of any officer, according to a 2018 analysis by First Coast News. 

He has also been involved in five officer-involved shootings -- more than any other active duty officer, according to available records.**

**A recent legal interpretation of Marsy’s Law defines officers as “victims” in police shootings, so their names are redacted from reports. Nobles’ shootings were calculated using news reports and available records, as well as the recollections of JSO officers interviewed for our original story in February.

Read our full report on J.C. Nobles' history here.


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