Former Sheriff Charlie Wells supports son Rick Wells' move to No. 2 spot at Manatee Sheriff's Office

MANATEE -- The former Manatee County sheriff supports his son fully as he prepares to take the No. 2 position at the sheriff's office.

Palmetto Police Chief Rick Wells publicly announced Tuesday morning that he was resigning to take the position of chief deputy at the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

Wells' father, Charlie Wells, held the position of sheriff for more than 20 years.

Current Sheriff Brad Steube was serving as chief deputy when Charlie Welss resigned in 2007. Then-Gov. Charlie Crist then appointed Steube as sheriff.

Stuebe, who won election in 2008 and 2012, plans to run for re-election next year and has no definitive plans on when he will retire, but Rick Wells has indicated a desire to one day hold the position his father held for so many years.

"If Rick wants to run for sheriff someday, I would be honored to support him in any way he needs me," Charlie Wells wrote in an email to the Bradenton Herald on Tuesday night. "I have never encouraged Rick to run for sheriff because it is a tough job and in many ways you lose your life."

On several occasions, Rick Wells has expressed that his father never encouraged him to go into politics. The senior Wells, confirmed, saying he simply wanted to warn his son's of the demand and difficulties of the job.

"My wife deserves a trophy for raising our children because I was doing my duty at the expense of my family," Charlie Wells said.

The proud father, who has shied away from the limelight since his retirement, has no doubt his son would make a great sheriff, he said.

"Rick's work ethic is much like Steube's and he is a genuine person," Charlie Wells said.

Charlie Wells is delighted that his son will be working as the No. 2 to his own former chief deputy.

"I do have a great relationship with Sheriff Steube. He was my chief deputy and is one of the hardest working police officers I ever worked with," Charles Wells said. "The sheriff is a committed and dedicated law enforcement office who has integrity."

Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter@JDeLeon1012.

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