Osceola clerk of court under federal investigation

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OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. —

Osceola County's embattled clerk of court is under federal investigation Wednesday.

Armando Ramirez's former chief of staff filed a complaint that says he was wrongly fired and is making some serious allegations about race.

Beau Osborn worked side by side with Armando Ramirez when he took over at the courthouse.

Osborn said Wednesday chances of getting a job at the courthouse were much better if applicants were Hispanic.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigators will work to find out if that was in fact the hiring practice.

When Osborne was fired as Ramirez's chief deputy in February, he sat down with Eyewitness News and made shocking allegations.

"He's never turned on his computer in his office. He's never checked his email," Osborne said.

Beyond criticizing the new clerk's job performance, Osborn also expressed concerns about Ramirez's hiring practices, saying the clerk seemed to be showing favoritism toward Hispanics.

Osborne took those claims to an attorney and said a wrongful termination complaint had been filed with the EEOC.

Eyewitness News tried several times to reach Ramirez and we were told he had no comment.

But community activist Mark Rosenbauer said he received an email from the clerk that may offer some insight.

"I've been in Osceola County 29 years. I've never received an email written the way this was," Rosenbauer said.

A letter that appears to be from Ramirez's personal email account says: "My commitment to my constituents is irrevocable, regarding of race, color, creed, gender, nationality, physical challenges, age, cultural language groups."

The letter goes on to say Ramirez is "under siege" and there are several references to God being on his side.

"It's very personal, very religious. He was obviously doesn't agree with the separation of state and religion... and that's his choice," Rosenbauer said.