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Resignations of Key Loyalists Accord Administrator Coffey ‘Pause’ About His Plan to Resign

FlaglerLive | January 9, 2019

Craig Coffey, center, blames anew adopted Abettor Joe Mullins, right, for a altitude of attacks that’s arch to his action to resign. (© FlaglerLive)

Last Updated: 11:33 a.m.

Soon afterwards Flagler Canton Administrator Craig Coffey told his controlling agents Tuesday afternoon that he was resigning, his deputy, Sally Sherman, tendered her resignation, as did Joe Meyer, administrator of animal resources, able Jan. 31.

 

Sherman’s abandonment was not a surprise: she is carefully allied–and identified–with Coffey, who said he doubted she would break on abundant best already he’d leave anyway. But he said he was not assured it to be so swift. He said she was resigning because she feared that after Coffey there, she would be added accessible to attacks from commissioners.

“Once one ambition is gone, new targets will emerge, and there’s a lot of abhorrence in the access demography the alignment by commissioners adjoin staff,” Coffey said by buzz this morning.

Meyer has additionally connected been abutting to Coffey (it was Meyer who led the advance to accord Coffey a big accession a few years ago), but he’s been absent to retire, and the timing of Coffey’s abandonment alone triggered that admiration again.

The abandonment appeared to threw a bend in Coffey’s plan to assignment out an alike avenue for himself with canton commissioners, a plan he was presenting and discussing with the agency at a appropriate affair appointed for 5:30 this evening. At atomic that’s how Coffey presented it to reporters and the agency this morning: The resignations may accord commissioners who appetite to accumulate him on an aperture to columnist their case and avoid off Coffey’s departure. By the aforementioned token, the aftereffect of the resignations acquiesce Coffey to betoken a road-map adjoin his departure. He fabricated that explicit.

 

Audio: Coffey’s Full 45-mn. Buzz Appointment With Media resignations and the connected attacks by Abettor Mullins accord me pause,” Coffey wrote commissioners in a 9 a.m. email today, apropos to Joe Mullins, his harshest critic, “as after these added key individuals to alteration the Canton government abounding problems may arise. This presents a new bind for you as Commissioners and the able albatross I feel as your Administrator. Added for application tonight as you contemplate these issues.”

He continued: “Today the attacks by Commissioners Mullins abide on facebook as he has encouraged anybody to appearance up in Tshirts tonight. That accompanying with his contempo radio appearance this weekend it appears he is in afterward of a advance of claimed destruction. I accept this affair is belief heavily in these claimed accommodation by these key individuals and others.”

There is no agnosticism that Coffey is actual abundant still in the game, or at atomic alive adamantine to appearance the affair his way. The email went out to commissioners aloof as he began speaking by buzz with several bounded reporters, a appointment abiding the antecedent black so he could abode all questions wholesale–and ascendancy the bulletin as abundant as possible. In a wide-ranging, 45-minute conference, Coffey batten as if perched on a having-it-both-ways wishbone: on one duke he batten as if the abandonment was all but formalized. On the other, he able his angle as a plan, if not an opportunity, for the agency to assure the county’s reputation, and of advance his own.

“I don’t anticipate annihilation [sic.]–plans to resign, but I’d rather present it on a absolute acceding for the county, for my agents and for myself and my family,” he said. “If there is a separation, I’d rather it action in a absolute address for everybody involved.” He added: “If the commissioners adjudge this is not the advance they want, I’ll accept to amend whether I’ll footfall down. This is an alteration to the arrangement to acquiesce me to resign, if that’s the majority of the board. It’s not my resignation, it’s not a adjustment acceding or annihilation like that.”

While he afresh batten of absent a able and civilian transition, he additionally larboard no agnosticism that he was abrogation because of “attacks” from two commissioners (Mullins and O’Brien) and aspersion he said was fomented by a “the abrogating boyhood that comes at you.” He was abashed to accede broader dissatisfaction, or affix his abandonment to the altercation over the Sheriff’s Operations Center.

“I’m not actuality affected to do this and I’m not abiding it’s a ailing building, we still accept added testing to do. I anticipate the lath is still out,” he said. “I’m beneath claimed advance by a brace of commissioners so I’m putting alternating a angle for application by the absolute lath on how they would like the alteration to action or if they would alike like that alteration to occur. We accept three added commissioners–I anticipate the majority of the lath do not appetite me to go anywhere, but they accept the article [sic.] and the blazon of claimed attacks that they may acquaintance in the approaching too.”

Coffey accepted that his ambition was to present a arrangement alteration that would acquiesce him to abandon and accumulate his bloom allowances for 20 weeks, forth with 20 weeks’ severance pay. He had initially proposed to commissioners to accept a two to six ages alteration window, actual actuality for a affirmed two months and abrogation the abutting four abased on his adeptness to acquisition his abutting job. But he said Mullins and O’Brien are attractive for an actual exit.

Commissioner Dave Sullivan, however, has been accommodating to go with a best transition, and Commissioners Charlie Ericksen and Greg Hansen accept been against to battlefront Coffey. So Sullivan may yet afresh prove to be the beat and chief vote on the matter. (Coffey appeared alongside Hansen at a boondocks anteroom Tuesday evening, area Coffey said he acquainted “re-energized.”)

The arrangement alteration drafted in the aftermost two canicule and fabricated accessible this morning reads like a abandonment letter advised for a break able Friday: Coffey “may abandon at any time by sending a letter advertence such abandonment to the Chair of the Lath of Commissioners above-mentioned to midnight on January 11th, 2019. Upon resignation, the COUNTY agrees to pay/provide the aforementioned exact severance and all added allowances provided beneath Section 2. E. (ii). Lump sum severance amounts due shall be paid to EMPLOYEE no after than January 18, 2019. EMPLOYEE agrees to accomplish himself analytic accessible to acknowledgment questions from COUNTY agents now or in the approaching for a minimum of 60 canicule afterward any abandonment to abetment with any transition.” (See Coffey’s fuller arrangement here.)

Though on the border of actuality affecting at times, Coffey came beyond in today’s appointment with reporters still aggressive for his name and bequest but added hopeful than assertive of this evening’s outcome, and still as arresting as he generally has been over the accomplished 11 years aback faced with criticism or the achievability of a showdown: in emails and in today’s conference, he referred to the likelihood that his detractors were activity to appearance up cutting t-shirts acute for his firing. He said he admired chargeless speech, but his alternating references to the action showed it was abrogation its marks, apropos at one point to amusing media’s “mountain of awful chatter.”

But it was additionally bright that he was abrogation advanced accessible the possibility–the hope–that he could yet survive this evening’s meeting: admitting he was analytical of commissioners and others activity to the media with arguable issues such as the Operations Center, he was accomplishing no beneath today apropos his own survival. On the added hand, Coffey has consistently fabricated himself accessible to bounded media no amount the affair or controversy, and today’s appointment could aloof as adequately be apparent in the aforementioned light.

During the account Coffey appear that there’d been suggestions that Dick Kelton, the above and abundantly angry Palm Coast City manager, has been discussed as a accessible acting manager. Coffey said he would not acclaim Kelton, but had no added suggestions from aural his ranks, now that the names he ability accept appropriate accept accounting abandonment letters. (An official accustomed with Kelton’s Range Rider program, the statewide affiliation of above managers and administrators who pinch-hit for bounded governments in need, said Kelton is about absolutely retired and would not action his casework in that capacity.)

When a anchorman asked him how he could adjustment relationships with commissioners and the accessible alike if the agency autonomous to accumulate him on, he said he would abide the “consummate professional” alike if he could not win assertive bodies back. He said his accord with both commissioners who argue him has been professional. “I will angle my arena aback I charge to, and I’m not abashed of arduous a commissioner, alike admitting they’re my supervisors, aloof as I ask my agents to claiming me aback I’m not right,” Coffey said. And in the aforementioned breath, he continued: “If you accept a bearings area it’s a connected battery of claimed attacks, not consistently based on absolute information, I anticipate tat’s activity to be annihilative if that trend and that action continues forward, behindhand of me or anyone else, because I could see it continuing to appear over issues and agendas behindhand of Craig Coffey. But acclimation it, I will do my best to consistently be the able professional.” But, he said, “I will not booty abuse, and I will angle up for myself and I will actual facts and lies wherever I see them, if that’s the case, if that’s the accommodation of the board.”

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