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Undersheriff taking leave of absence, state investigating extramarital affair

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Marion County Undersheriff Dan Kuhn is taking a voluntary unpaid leave of absence while the state investigates his extramarital affair. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is completing an inquiry in regards to the affair, according to Ocala.com. Kuhn plans on ending the leave of absence when the inquiry is finished.

“I’m not sure what the allegations are,” he said. “I think I’ve admitted to everything I can admit to. I had an affair that happened some time ago.”

Kuhn said choosing to take a leave of absence was a way to admit his behavior wasn’t acceptable.

Kuhn is the republican candidate for Marion County Sheriff against Constitution Party candidate Bernie DeCastro and write-in candidate Judson Spence. He said he isn’t dropping out of the election and hopes the news of his affair won’t affect his campaign. But he understands it comes with being a public figure.

DeCastro knows about Kuhn’s affair and investigation. Though Kuhn has been paroled from prison and then pardoned of his life sentence, DeCastro said Kuhn isn’t the only one who has made mistakes.

Because of his own past he said he won’t use the information in his campaign against Kuhn. 

He said even without a smear campaignthe situation will still affect the election because Kuhn is in a position of leadership.

“Some people just go, ‘Well, everyone makes mistakes. Live and let live.’ And then other people go ‘Well, that’s a scared position of trust just like marriage and if you violate one you could violate the other,'” he said.

Kuhn said his leave from office will actually give him more time to talk to the people of Marion County and hopes they will look past the incident.

He said the hardest part about the affair is the way it has affected his family, including his wife Tajai, and friends.

Kuhn said his community has been supportive. At this point, he said he’s just ready to move on.

“Especially when my wife and I had moved past it and had healing between the two of us, it’s tough to have someone make an issue of it,” he said.

Kuhn’s absence is indefinite and he won’t be paid until he returns to work, Ocala.com said, but he will remain in the sheriff’s contest. The election for Marion County Sheriff will be held Nov. 6.

“While I’m sorry I let folks down, the family unit is strong and we will be moving forward in the future.”

About Ethan Magoc

Ethan is a news editor at WUFT News. He's a Pennsylvania native who found a home reporting Florida's stories. Reach him by emailing emagoc@wuft.org or calling 352-294-1525.

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