Why a former firefighter’s name was removed from the sheriff’s arrest log after a DUI crash in Clay County

Zoey Fields

The name of a Green Cove Springs woman was removed from the Clay County Sheriff’s Office daily arrest log after an accident where she was arrested for allegedly driving while intoxicated and attempted to leave the scene, according to the arrest report.

At the time of the incident, the woman was employed by the St. Johns County Fire and Rescue Department as a firefighter and EMT. She has since resigned.

In Clay County, If certain county employees are arrested, they can sign an exemption form and their name and photo won’t appear on the arrest log. Even former employees who resign or retire retain this option. The exemption can also apply to their immediate family members, who are provided the same form as their agency-employed spouse or parent, removing them from the daily bulletin.

Click here to view the Clay County Sheriff’s Office “daily bulletin,” or “arrest log.”

This exemption is also granted for out-of-county employees in similar positions (such as law enforcement officers, corrections officers, civilian employees of law enforcement agencies, firefighters, judges).

The Clay County Sheriff's Office offers C163 forms to certain county employees and their immediate family members.Photo byClay County Sheriff's Office

Exemptions are granted after the arrested individual completes a form, also called the C163 form. Once the form is completed, a sheriff’s office employee goes into the arrest log system and removes that person’s name and booking photo. Allowing their job (or former job) to essentially hide their arrest from public disclosure.

News organizations frequently review the arrest log to ask for arrest reports under the state’s public records laws. This exemption prevents not only the general public but, also, news media employees from seeing their arrests.

Lauren Adams, 35, was arrested Saturday, July 29, and signed a C163 form citing her employment at the St. Johns County Fire Department in order to have her name and photo removed from public disclosure.

Despite later resigning, this option would have been available to Adams due to having previously been employed by the agency, a Clay County Sheriff’s Office spokesman said, as the exemption extends to both current and former employees.

Adams' C163 form, showing she worked for St. Johns County Fire and Rescue, allows her name and photo to be removed from CCSO arrest page.Photo byClay County Sheriff's Office

On Saturday, July 29 at approximately 8:53 p.m. Adams, 35, of Green Cove Springs was traveling west on County Road 220 and attempting to turn left onto Sleepy Hollow Drive when she struck another vehicle. The impact caused the vehicle to roll over through the median and into oncoming traffic, the arrest report said.

It was later discovered the driver of the struck vehicle is a 20-year-old Clay County man named Randy Johnson. Johnson’s mother took to Facebook to ask why Adams had been let out of jail when she’d “left her son for dead.”

Johnson, who survived the accident, told Action News Jax that he wants more charges brought against Adams.

The night of the accident, a witness said that Adams attempted to drive away from the scene down Sleepy Hollow before he was able to stop her. The witness then contacted law enforcement, according to the arrest report.

In his written statement to deputies, the witness wrote “y’all should really do some sobriety exercises on her, she’s really drunk.” He also noted that she smelled strongly of alcohol.

Deputies did not initially speak to Johnson as he was transported from the scene by Clay County Fire and Rescue before deputies arrived.

Adams was told that deputies were done investigating the crash and were starting a criminal investigation into her level of intoxication, the arrest report said.

Adams told deputies she was trying to turn right onto Sleepy Hollow and “just got hit all of a sudden.” She said she was going to a friend’s house from Lake Asbury, but was unable to provide any other information.

As deputies continued speaking to Adams, she “remembered she was actually turning left across traffic when the crash occurred,” she told them.

Deputies asked Adams if she had consumed any alcoholic beverages and she “became irate” and started yelling at deputies saying she is a paramedic firefighter from St. Johns County and is a single mom, according to the arrest report.

She told deputies she “knew how this worked because of being a first responder” and that she has “seen people way more f***ed up than I am get away with nothing.”

While speaking with Adams, deputies noted she was “extremely unsteady” on her feet and was constantly stumbling around to maintain her balance.

When asked if she was willing to participate in field sobriety exercises, Adams responded “f*** no.”

Deputies explained they would have to make an arrest decision based on what they had seen so far. Adams told them she was going to call her attorney and that the St. Johns County Fire Rescue department would protect her, according to the arrest report.

Adams has since resigned from the St. Johns County Fire and Rescue Department due to this incident.

Deputies placed Adams under arrest and while transporting her to the Clay County Jail, she began screaming that she “saves cops” at her job and “now that she was in jail cops would die because of the arresting deputy.”

She told the deputy that karma would “come back around” and that their “entire family would die.” She said if she was working she would not help the deputy because they were “such a d*** for ruining her career,” the arrest report said.

Once they arrived at Clay County Jail, Adams refused to provide a breath sample. An Alcohol Influence Report and DUI packet was initiated. While attempting to complete the report, Adams refused to answer any questions and started “twerking” at the booking counter while giving everybody in the booking area the middle finger, deputies said.

Deputies also discovered that Adams’ license was suspended on May 31, 2023, for financial responsibility and again on June 5, 2023, for failure to pay a traffic fine. She was issued an additional citation for driving while suspended.

Adams’ bond was set at $5,002 and she posted bond on July 31. She has since been released from Clay County Jail and is awaiting an arraignment hearing scheduled for Monday, Aug. 14 at 9 a.m. in Clay County Courtroom 2.

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Accredited journalist with experience covering a wide range of stories consisting of breaking news, city and county government, crime and courts, feature stories and local interest. Twitter: @zoeyfields0

Jacksonville, FL

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