A park ranger is accused of accepting bribes from probationers in exchange for signing off on their community service hours they didn’t work.
Michael Kenneth Eble, 50, was arrested for commercial bribe receiving, according to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office. He has been fired from Boy Scouts of America as well as Camp Echockotee in Orange Park, the Boy Scout Camp where he worked.
Eble’s former girlfriend reported her suspicions to the BSA who reported it to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.
“She believed he was taking money from the probationers in exchange for them getting out of doing their community service,” said Mary Justino, spokeswoman for the CCSO.
After interviewing 52 probationers, she said five admitted to paying him anywhere from $8 to $10 an hour or even buying his lunch so he could sign off on their hours they were supposed to work.
They’re still investigating, as they suspect it went on for longer than the eight month period they know about.
Justino says also believe many more than five probationers took part in the bribery, but they did not admit it for fear of being rearrested for violating their probation.
She says it’s up to the state attorney and probation offices to determine what will happen to those who admitted.
Eble was released from Clay County jail on $20,000 bond and will go to court to face the charge of commercial bribe receiving.