HIGHLANDS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A Highlands County detention deputy was charged with nine felonies after authorities said he altered doctor’s notes to extend his medical leave on multiple occasions.
Jore Arnold Stanberry, 41, was booked into the Highlands County Jail Tuesday and charged with three counts of altering a public record, three counts of falsifying a document while a public servant, and three counts of passing a forged instrument. All are third-degree felonies.
Authorities said an investigation found that Stanberry altered the dates he was allowed to return to work on three separate doctor’s notes. The letter alterations allowed Stanberry to take between one and five days of additional medical leave for each letter he allegedly altered.
Because doctor’s notes are to be written by doctors only, alterations amount to forgery. Since Stanberry was a government employee, those notes are also a public record, making it illegal to alter them in any way.
Stanberry’s supervisors eventually grew suspicious after he missed “many hours” of work.
The sheriff’s office pointed to the 42, two-week pay periods between July 28, 2021 and March 7, 2023, that Stanberry worked less than a third of the hours available to him. Authorities said Standberry also took 365 hours of sick leave and had nearly 225 hours of annual and administrative leave since he was hired.
Deputies said there were 22 pay periods where Stanberry logged zero hours worked out of a possible 86 hours of regular time and received no pay. There were also 42 days of “no-call, no-show” absences on his record.
Stanberry’s employment at the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office provided him with medical benefits, ongoing accrual of annual/sick leave, and retirement benefits.
“Even when Stanberry took entire weeks off at a time and received no pay, the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office was still responsible for its portion of his health insurance,” the sheriff’s office said in a media release.
“As Sheriff, I have an obligation to the citizens of Highlands County to hold the members of the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office to a high standard of behavior and ethics,” Sheriff Paul Blackman said. “This former deputy took an oath to protect our citizens, and you can’t do that if you don’t show up to work.”
Stanberry began his career at the HCSO on Jan. 2, 2020. He resigned shortly before his arrest. He was released from jail after posting a $9,000 bond.