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Acknowledging Membership to Hammock Resort, Sheriff Says It Has “No Dollar Value”

| April 23, 2012

'The card was given to me by the administration over there a number of years ago, which I never asked for, and they said it has no dollar value,' Sheriff Don Fleming said of his membership card to the Hammock Beach Resort, now the subject of an ethics complaint. (© FlaglerLive)

'The card was given to me by the administration over there a number of years ago, which I never asked for, and they said it has no dollar value,' Sheriff Don Fleming said of his membership card to the Hammock Beach Resort, now the subject of an ethics complaint. (© FlaglerLive)

It’s been rumored for years: Flagler County Sheriff Don Fleming’s “free” membership to the Club at Hammock Beach, the most exclusive club in the region where a membership runs to well over $20,000. Now it’s the subject of a state ethics complaint filed by James Williams, an ex-cop who used to work for Fleming, and who faxed a copy of the complaint to various media, FlaglerLive included, last week.

There’s nothing wrong with a public official holding a membership to the exclusive resort. But state law requires public officials to disclose, every quarter, any gift they have received, that exceeds a value of $100.  The one-time initiation fee at the resort run around $20,000, provided the member owns property in the development, while an additional due of $5,000 a year gives members access to the beach and other amenities. No such disclosure appears on Fleming’s filings with the state going back several years.

Fleming on Monday acknowledged having a membership card. But he said the card has no dollar value, and so need not have been disclosed.

“The card was given to me by the administration over there a number of years ago, which I never asked for, and they said it has no dollar value,” Fleming said this morning, referring to the resort’s administration. (He spoke by phone from New Port Richie, where he is tending to his father in law, who is in Hospice care.) “This thing here I will be able to defend completely. I do have a membership, but I pay for my membership.”

Fleming said the membership card grants him access to the resort, but he receives a bill at month’s end for the meals and drinks he’s consumed. The bill, he said, has run from $400 to $500 a month, occasionally more, more often less. “When I get back I can show the bylaws,” Fleming said. “It has no dollar value. All it does is it entitle me to eat at the restaurant, where I eat at the restaurant and I pay my bill.”

The resort decides the value of its membership. Nothing stops it from handing out a membership card without charging the recipient, and in that sense Fleming is accurate: he was given a free card.

The question the Florida Ethics Commission will ask in its investigation is whether the card amounted to a gift, and whether the going value for the gift equates to the normal membership fee that the resort charges, if Fleming was given something that average Joes cannot get—namely, a card granting access to the resort.

The resort lists four types of memberships, starting with the beach club membership. The other three provide access to golf courses in addition, and are presumably more expensive. Mary Ann Murphy is the membership director at the Club at Hammock Beach. She did not return calls placed at her office Monday.

“The card doesn’t cost anything. The only time it would cost you something is if you wanted a golf membership,” Fleming said, though the so-called Beach Club membership does not involve golf, and does cost money. “Members,” the Hammock notes in its description of that type of membership, “enjoy a variety of restaurants and lounges throughout the Club, with daily special member menus, preferred member pricing and happy hour specials along with an array of member events, lively entertainment, informative presentations, seminars and classes.”

In his complaint filed with the ethics commission, Williams, an ex-New York City cop in his miod-50s who worked only briefly with the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office—from the fall of 2007 to the spring of 2008, when he was not held over past his probation period—described working as head of security for the Ginn Co.’s northeast properties in the state in 2005, the Hammock resort included. “During this time,” Williams wrote, “I was approached by Sheriff Donald Fleming who asked me if I could obtain a gift of a free membership to the resort for him. I advised Sheriff Fleming that due to the value of the gift, I was not authorized by the Ginn Company to give out such a gift. I told him that I would speak with my supervisor about his request. Not long afterwards, I learned that Sheriff Fleming did indeed receive a gift of a free membership to the Hammock Beach Resort.”

Fleming categorically denies approaching Williams about the membership card, which he said was acquired through the club’s administration, at the administration’s behest.

“It’s just this continuing assault by members of the media, a person who’s running for election, and a person whom I fired,” Fleming said, referring to Williams and Manfre. Manfre would not address the matter, saying it’s between the sheriff and the ethics commission.

Williams is, in fact, a Manfre supporter, and there’s little question that the timing of the complaint is no coincidence: elections trigger political maneuvers that exploit candidates’ vulnerabilities. After eight years in office, Fleming has a few. The issue of a membership at Hammock Beach, whatever its outcome, is only the latest in a string of setbacks complicating his reelection bid.

Fleming’s friendly but repeated interaction with John Fischer, the school board member, on behalf of Fischer’s wife, Jamesine, following her hit-and-run accident that caused the death of an elderly woman last November, led State Attorney R.J. Larizza to hand off the hit-and-run case to another jurisdiction: Larizza did not want to run into conflict of interest issues with Fleming, who is now among the witnesses in the case, and whose judgment and memory have been questioned in the wake of his conflicting accounts of conversations with Fischer. Fleming’s opponents—Ray Stevens, a Republican, and Jim Manfre, a Democrat—have pointed to a pattern of internal issues, from job discrimination to rule-breaking by some cops, that have cost several hundred thousand dollars in settlements and led to the resignation, arrest or suspension of a few cops.

Jamie Roster, a sergeant in the department, is the latest deputy, and the highest placed, to face disciplinary action. He was suspended with pay last month and an internal affairs investigation continues into allegations that he falsified time sheets.

Regarding the ethics matter, Fleming said he had turned over all relevant documents to his attorney for them to be conveyed to the commission. His attorney is Wayne Evans of the Florida Sheriff’s Association, retained by the sheriff’s office at taxpayers’ expense.

As sheriff, Fleming is paid $120,253 a year. The salary is set by state law. The sheriff’s is the highest among local constitutional officers.

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68 Responses for “Acknowledging Membership to Hammock Resort, Sheriff Says It Has “No Dollar Value””

  1. Haw Creek Girl says:

    No $ value. Ok, tell me where to call so they will send me the free one? Geez, if Manfre weren’t his only opponent I would say fry the guy. Trouble s he just seems like a dummy. It has to come down to intent unfortunately.

  2. Yellowstone says:

    You say, “The resort decides the value of its membership. Nothing stops it from handing out a membership card without charging the recipient, and in that sense Fleming is accurate: he was given a free card.”

    And you get what you pay for . . . . Ha!

    I am a taxpayer – where do I get my ‘free card’?

    (I am holding my breath)

  3. Joe A. says:

    There is a price for everything. If you do not believe me, go to Disney World or Harley Davidson. Everything comes at a price; big or small. If a politican accepts a bribe without asking for it, is it still ethical?

    What is disturbing, is the blatant display of public disrespect that Mr. Fleming has for the people of Flagler County. Because he is the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the county, he acts as if he is above the law. Don Fleming reminds me greatly of Charlie Rangle. Corruption ceases to exist only in their eyes.

    I am tired of politicians having fun on our dime. I am mad as hell and not going to take it anymore!!!

  4. Haw Creek Girl says:

    Its fine to question his intelligence but I can’t question the other guys ethics? Ok, so maybe that’s part of hi way we took to get here :-)

  5. Ben Dover says:

    Well if he has cancelled checks for more then 500 hundred a month , then its on the up and up , of course they will give you a card to come spend 500 hundred a month in their restaurants and bars , and if that`s all that card entitled him to do , then its just a disgruntled employee ,who is also slinging mud . I`m sure they`ll give either of you a card to drop that kind of cash there each month too.

    • ffd says:

      Hey Ben Dover pull up to the front gate and tell them you don’t have a card, but you just want to go have dinner and drinks …. see how far past the gate you get

      • Ben Dover says:

        I said if you fill out the paper work to receive a card for the restaurants and bars , and that`s all it entitles you to do, and your spending five hundred and more a month, they will give you a card , they`d be foolish not to, I did not say pull up to the gate without a card.

    • Layla says:

      Ben, he knows the rules on what he is supposed to declare. As an elected official, his life is no longer his own and he knows these things must be reported.

      Had that been done, he wouldn’t be in trouble now.

  6. ffd says:

    “His attorney is Wayne Evans of the Florida Sheriff’s Association, retained by the sheriff’s office at taxpayers’ expense”
    That’s great we the citizens are paying his lawyer fees for something that has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the Sheriff’s Office Operations

  7. Gia says:

    NO DOLARD VALUE, I AM A TAXPAYER SEND ME MY CARD.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Dear Hammock Beach Resort, Please send me a free membership card. I would like to eat in your restaurants and play at your pool. Thank you, Flagler County Taxpayer

  9. gofish says:

    i just called H.B.R. at 246-5555 and spoke to the concierge. I asked for a free card so I could come and have dinner and drinks. THe woman stated they don’t have free memberships. I said the Sheriff has a free membership, she stated ” He is a member, but his membership isn’t free” I told her that I read on F.L. that he says he has a free membership. She said “There is no such thing, you need to call the membership office after 9 tomorrow”!!!!

  10. FLATTRUTH says:

    “Jamie Roster, a sergeant in the department, is the latest deputy, and the highest placed, to face disciplinary action. He was suspended with pay last month and an internal affairs investigation continues into allegations that he falsified time sheets.” I’VE heard that the sheriff’s office is purposely delaying the internal investigation results to keep the public from finding out that ROSTER took tens of thousands of dollars from Flagler Taxpayers by saying that he was working while he went to the beach to go surfing with a higher up colleague…They wont deny it because they dont want you to know.

  11. Robert says:

    I am calling the membership office tomorrow for my card.
    Since they have no dollar value they should be given out just like the grocery savings cards at Publix and Winn Dixie.

  12. Dudley Doright says:

    My investigative instincts lead me to believe that there is a very strong possibility that Sheriff Fleming is not the only one who received a free membership to the clubs at Hammock Dunes. I would not be shocked if Netts, Landon, Peterson, Holland, Darby, Revels, King and other politicians past and present also received this free card. Just saying!

  13. ConcernedCitizen says:

    I’ve been in Palm Coast for about 5 years and I’m shocked to read about all the shenigans that transpire at the FCSO! And these incidents are probably only the tip of the iceberg. What else is hidden behind that “solid blue wall”? Free membership???? There is no way that is true! We need a new person at the top, to inspire the rank and file. What example does this and everything else I’ve read over the last few years set?

  14. palmcoaster says:

    In 2004 Sheriff Jim Manfre was witch hunted over a calendar…! How much is costing us this: “His attorney is Wayne Evans of the Florida Sheriff’s Association, retained by the sheriff’s office at taxpayers’ expense”. If his membership card is “private as he says” why he doesn’t pay his private attorney from his private funds other than sticking it to us the broke taxpayers of this county? How come these current county commissioners are not all over this Sheriff yet, on the misuse of our taxpayers funds? Because sure their counterparts back then in 2004, including Patrick McGuire then, not only the county commissioner but also a child molester that ended in prison later, attacked Sheriff Jim Manfre and started over just a calendar to be distributed in the community. http://brechner.org/counties/violations.asp. Scroll down to Flagler.
    July 2004: The Flagler County Commission sued Sheriff Jim Manfre for access to Public Records that detail the costs of calendars and holiday greeting cards sent to residents of Bunnell. Manfre allegedly failed to provide access to the records, but disputes that the calendar is an election year political issue, not a violation of the Sunshine Law.
    Next is the seating county commissioner Pat McGuire, that while also being the police benevolent chief and along with the county commissioners in 2004, witch hunted Sheriff Jim Manfre,and honest family man and citizen, over a calendar: http://www.wesh.com/news/10665769/detail.html Flagler county residents better be aware of well orchestrated witch hunts in this county, against some of our honest constitutional elected officials, with very bad results for all.

  15. Haw Creek Girl says:

    Flaglerlive, if I were the marketing director at HBR memberships, you’d be my Nobel prize winner wink wink

  16. palmcoaster says:

    We as taxpayers have the right to now how much exactly those hundreds of thousands in lawsuits settlements were as mentioned: “from job discrimination to rule-breaking by some cops, that have cost several hundred thousand dollars in settlements and led to the resignation, arrest or suspension of a few cops”. I would like our county commissioners to publish the total of those figures so the true comes out and we can really see, the costly and deadly mistakes our misinformed voters make.

  17. John Boy says:

    Time to get out the shovels and do some digging. What other City and County Officials also have “Free” memberships in this club. How about other clubs, golf, social clubs, ethnic clubs, fraternal clubs, gyms,etc.

    I’ll bet that this is not a unique situation, probably some Officials belong to clubs outside the Country just to try to hide cover their indiscretions.

  18. wsh302@msn.com says:

    a couple of years ago i had met the chef who worked at this place and he had told me that this is where a lot of politicains had out and drink and eat.

  19. elaygee says:

    There are no free memberships to that resort. I called and was told that it costs thousands to join PLUS and initiation fee. That’s before golf club fees and anything else. It’s just for the right to go in there and pay to eat and use the clubhouse facilities.

    He’s been bribed by them for years and that’s what will get him convicted, the evasion of disclosure.

    • letsgetreal says:

      Reporting requirement questions aside, what in the world is he being bribed for??? The man has no voting rights on anything in this county, let alone something that could remotely affect Hammock Beach Resort!

  20. Pragmatic says:

    I have been told that the initial year at the Hammock is $100,000 then $20,000 for each subsequent year.

    There now he has a dollars value.

    Corrupt.

  21. Geezer says:

    palmcoaster:

    “In 2004 Sheriff Jim Manfre was witch hunted over a calendar…!”

    You hit the nail on the head! My only gripe with Mr. Manfre was that I didn’t receive
    my own calendar. :-) Mr. Manfre has my vote, AGAIN.

    I believe that Hershel “Hutch” King Jr. was his leading antagonist.
    I encountered that person at a gun and pawn shop in Ormond, where his close buddy is proprietor.
    (Past president of the Flagler Gun Club)
    He was behind the counter (Hutch). Us regular folks would be shot if we ventured behind the counter.

    He was shouldering a rifle (unloaded I hope) and looking through its iron sights.
    I asked him to not to point it at me.
    He looked right through me after I said that. “Excuse me asshole” I thought to myself.
    That day his pickup truck (in the pawn shop’s parking lot) had a Hutch King banner for re-election.
    (or election)
    This was circa 2004…

    He is (maybe was) one of the Good Ol Boy Network that set out to run Mr. Manfre out on a rail.
    Part of the Good Ol Boy cadre at the Flagler Gun Club.

    They focused on the “free calendar” to oust this man.
    Bullshit is a legitimate currency in Flagler County.
    We seem to have a surplus.

    Being a Democrat Sheriff all but guaranteed his ouster.

    I hope he’s elected.
    It’s just wrong what Manfre was put through.

    I recall a song by the band “Heart”:

    “I could not run away
    It seemed we’d seen each other in a dream
    It seemed like he knew me
    He looked right through me”

    Yup, he looked right through me. Creepy.

    • Just a Thought says:

      Geezer says: “I believe that Hershel “Hutch” King Jr. was his leading antagonist.
      I encountered that person at a gun and pawn shop in Ormond, where his close buddy is proprietor.
      (Past president of the Flagler Gun Club)
      He was behind the counter (Hutch). Us regular folks would be shot if we ventured behind the counter.”

      Really? And because he is an elected official and behind the counter at business that was owned by a friend 8 years ago, you think this has some significant meaning?

  22. tulip says:

    Different people have been told different things by various people. Why not just wait and see what the real facts are, instead of letting people with a grudge against Fleming wreak havoc with accusations and articles? Then they sit back and watch their manipulations at work as people lose their rationality, and jump on the accusatory bandwagon.

  23. palmcoaster says:

    @elaygee. Is much more than the evasion of disclosure that he should be convicted for…

  24. Angie says:

    In order for a company to give out a “free” anything, they have to assign a value to it for their own tax purposes because they write off “free” gifts…could be advertising…could be a promotion…but it’s all supposed to be accounted for…on the business side. That makes it Fleming’s responsibility as an elected official to account for the “value” of the “gift”.

  25. Anonymous says:

    If its a card that just gets him into ONLY the shops or place to eat and he does have to pay for that stuff fine BUT if it gives him run of the place then he should be OUT as sheriff.

  26. palmcoaster says:

    @Letsgetreal…Have you heard of cover ups conveniently taking place? There was one just uncovered in Sanford.

  27. Joe A. says:

    I would like to see what it says in the Sheriff Departments policy and procedures. If their policy forbids behavior like this, then Mr. Fleming should be held accountable for violating a policy his office enforces. Nothing like a double standard from politicians who abuse the power they are temporarily given.

  28. palmcoaster says:

    @Don’tbedoparanoid. To waste life saving time, not sending a deputy to the site of an injured elderly woman (Mrs Francoise Pequeuer) when called, I see that as a deadly mistake.

    • dontbesoparanoid says:

      Palmcoaster,

      The fact that a deputy did not respond to what was first deemed a medical call is a policy that was put in place by former Sheriff Manfre. What do you say to that?

    • Just a Thought says:

      How exactly would a deputy saved this woman’s life? The Fire department that was less than a mile away immediately took her to a trauma center in Daytona and she still died. Please explain how the presence of a deputy would have changed the outcome of this tragedy?

  29. GoodFella says:

    Yes, he was given a free card to enter and enjoy the restaurant at the club. However, I do not believe he has full access as I do as a member. I have seen him dine at the club a few times but have never seen him anywhere near the beach club or golf course. It is really no big deal that he was given access to our club, it is OUR PRIVATE club!!!

    • Layla says:

      Very kind of you to make him the offer, but he is a PUBLIC OFFICIAL and must declare it. Had he done that, he would have been fine.

  30. ConcernedCitizen says:

    People are usually afraid to voice their opinions about law enforcement. Would I want my 18 year old daughter to be stopped and harassed because mom or dad said something against the department?I think not. There is probably lot more going on under his leadership because attitudes and behavior trickle down. As a retiree, I’ve been active in social networking events around town, and I’ve heard he visits the club very often and enjoys its services. While he might be paying for these, can an average citizen without a membership card do the same? If not, the membership card has great value. I’ve also heard of other people under him enjoying “freebies” around town and other bad behavior that I thought only existed in movies. I agree with palmcoaster

    • dontbesoparanoid says:

      “can an average citizen without a membership card do the same?”

      An “average citizen” can’t pin a badge to his chest and wear a gun on his hip either.

  31. fedup says:

    Only an IDIOT would believe that a membership to a five star resort would be free… and that’s EXACTLY what this SHERIFF is… an IDIOT!!!. He’s also a POMPOUS ASS to believe that we the people of Flagler County would be dumb enough to accept his explanation. It’s time for Don TO GO. Let’s see if he keeps his FREE MEMBERSHIP as average Joe a Flagler County resident!!!

    • Jerry says:

      Fleming should do the honorable thing. Step down or at the very least NOT run again. Time for NEW leadership. Jim Manfrey is the right man for the job.

  32. Honest Abe says:

    Palmcoaster, your post “To waste time, not sending a deputy to the site of an injured elderly woman” was a policy initiated by Manfre when he was sheriff. Knowledge is a wonderful tool. This “ethics complaint” filed April 2012 was by a fired (March 28, 2008) deputy who alleges in 2005 that Fleming approached him about a membership and received one soon after. So, seven years ago, Fleming started paying for dinner and drinks at the Hammock resort and this comes up now? It is reported that this fired deputy is a supporter of Manfre. Be careful where you sling the mud, sometimes the wind blows and it smacks you back in your own face.

  33. tulip says:

    Maybe people should read what Mr. Fleming has to say in today’s (4/25) NJ before continuing on with the mud slinging.

    • Martha says:

      Tulip,

      They don’t care. Some people have a need to inject their beliefs and opinions into stories like this in an attempt to pass them as factual for their own reasons whether political, personal, or just to stir the pot.

  34. palmcoaster says:

    @honest abe…and Co. The Fischer issue and the hundreds of thousands in lawsuits settlements are also political mud slinging to you? Maybe not to the tax payers of our community. Also is obvious that the current policies are observed depending who places the call nowadays. Is Larizza’s excusing himself to prosecute Fischer a political mud slinging also? Going back to the membership card, maybe was gifted to him at the end of 2006? Actually the issue is the value of the gift.
    I do not care at all which party affiliation a Sheriff has. I just care about the services rendered for our taxes paid and also about our law enforcement protecting us, rather than socializing in high places or keeping busy on cover ups. Looks to me that your “mud smack you back in in your own face” could be and underlined threat? Not so nice coming from you, a Sheriff fan as you seem to be. Is enough maybe that our citizens have to be afraid of exercising their freedom of speech when it comes to law enforcement. Otherwise read Concernedcitizen above. I sure do not have much faith on the outcome of the Ethics Commission, given the political powers controlling Florida now. Hope I am wrong.
    Have you been to Publix and heard the general perception of discontent from customers and employees regarding the Francois Pequeur death handling, as she was very dear to many in the store? All those citizens are mud slinging too? Francoise could have been any of us as well. What mud slinging are you talking about? We have facts here.

    • dontbesoparanoid says:

      “Have you been to Publix and heard the general perception of discontent from customers and employees regarding the Francois Pequeur death handling, as she was very dear to many in the store? All those citizens are mud slinging too? Francoise could have been any of us as well. What mud slinging are you talking about? We have facts here.”
      __________________

      What facts do you have when you refuse to acknowlege the fact regarding the implementation of the sheriff’s office policy of not responding to medical calls…which is how the Francoise incident was called in. When you refuse to acknowlege the fact that a call was made to Fleming about a person possibly hitting an animal, he told them to report it and five minutes after telling them to do so, they did and the pieces of the puzzle fell together.
      Why aren’t you blaming the Rescue unit that responded as well? After all they did say it was their responsibility to notify law enforcement if they thought something didn’t add up. But of course, this is about one man who as Sheriff obviously should have the same power as God and be all things and in all places at the same time.
      I go to Publix all the time and do not see employees or customers discussing the incident as you describe though I have seen Mr. Fischer there shopping on a few occasions.

  35. joe says:

    This guy is making every excuse. Yesterday he stated Bobby Ginn gave him the” card” today he say’s an administrator gave him the card. So in 24 hrs we have gotten 2 stories….. Membership at The Club of Hammock Beach starts at 20,000 a year. Ask me how I know ? A member who pays his dues..

  36. ric says:

    OKAY all you posting people,I hope you are voters and vote..

  37. palmcoaster says:

    @Just a Thought…How immediately was that emergency service called and provided after so much friends advise? No for nothing the insurance company settled overnight and without much argument!

    • FlaglerMom says:

      Let’s see, a few weeks ago Fleming said he wasn’t changing his response policy. Now he says he’s looking into the policy. Which is it? But again he feels the need to deflect his department’s problems to someone else. He keeps blaming Sheriff Manfre for making a policy change. Beside the fact that Sheriff Manfre never made that change, if Fleming didn’t like a policy, he had 8 years to change it. The decision to send police or not should be made on an individual basis, no call is the same. Shouldn’t that be up to one of the numerous supervisors he promoted? Perhaps with a little less time being the absentee sheriff or enjoying that free resort membership the citizens of Flagler County would receive the professional police services they deserve.

  38. Honest Abe says:

    PalmCoaster, the fact that this ethics complaint that is approximately seven years old by a Manfre supporter is mud slinging to me. The “ethical” person would have reported the complaint as soon as he or she became aware of it. Underlined threat? Give me a break.

  39. palmcoaster says:

    @HonestAbe.I do not care about the Manfre supporter as I do not care the party affiliation of any Sheriff. What I want is a break on the abuse in our tax payers pockets with hundreds of thousands of our monies on those (his) legal fees and settlements, not disclosed yet by the county commissioners and I want to be provided the services we pay for. Too many years of dummy unmanned cruisers parked around our city pretending to provide safety!

  40. palmcoaster says:

    @dbsoparanoid. I see you defending your boss free HBR card, of course and requesting detail regarding the “our freebies” mentioned by a resident above. Then you agree that the pin in thye chest and the gun on the hip of a contitutional elected official should deserve him/her a gift that to the wealthy Joe that owns a unit in the HBR will cost 100,000 up front plus 20,000/year. Conflictive to say the least and wrong!

  41. palmcoaster says:

    Looks like things will go back they way they should, because wether words or what incorrectly called “mud” maybe working: http://www.news-journalonline.com/news/local/flagler/2012/04/26/flagler-sheriffs-office-reviewing-policy-on-responding-to-medical-calls.html

  42. Jessie Christ says:

    Sheriff Fleming went on to say, “I have also received numerous envelopes stuffed with US currency, which has little or no value. I did not ask directly for them either. Obviously, you folks are making a big deal out of nothing.”

  43. anonymous says:

    Flemming is a joke and is wasting out tax dollars on his own enjoyments. In the sheriffs office, either your in their click or not. If you are, your internal affair investigations are always swept under the rug. Otherwise you are screwed. It goes beyond a membership card. Recently an officer was DUI, wrecked his car and injured someone and got reckless driving. If it was one of us, wed be fried!!!! The whole place is corrupt and I feel bad for the officers because a good portion of them are good cops from what I see.

  44. Meh says:

    Come on guys, he only makes $120k a year… How else is he gonna get in? He has to eat…

  45. Worried says:

    What a shame! The FCSO seems more like the Sopranos than upholders of law, truth and justice. The things I have heard make me cringe! Bad behavior, questionable ethics, secret out of court settlements for bad police work, and rumors of many more to come. Regardless of whether Willams was a good or bad cop, and even if his intentions are political, if the membership has value, and every indication points to that fact, it should have been reported. Definitely time for a change

    • Pinky says:

      I want to tell all of you there is more to FCSO than just the department. I believe there is also a strong Professional Nepotism in the Court House and along with FCSO. If you believe it is fair that a stay at home mom of 14 years could lose custody of her 3 kids to a deputy and his (married) live in girl friend and her 3 kids (YES 6 kids under one roof) then I don’t know what is right. This all is because the father is a Sheriff’s Deputy and the Judge is in that same county.The judge over looked picture of the wife who turned in of evidence of dometic abuse and the judge didn’t believe her. He didnt believe her even when deputies reported to their martial residence and gave the wife a domestic pamphlet. Now tell me what else happens behind closed doors. Flagler counldn’t be anymore corrupt than that.

      There are deputies having sex while on duty, their are deputies fratinizing with other deputies wives, there are deputies clocking out in there driveways for 30 mins before their shifts are up, there are deputies who abuse their wives or girl friends, their are deputies at the beach when they should be on shift, but because they are deputies they all get away with it.

      This is just the tip of the iceburg @ConcernedCitizen and yes @worried we should all be.

      Someone needs to clean house!

  46. palmcoaster says:

    @Worried…yes you better be worried around here, as also if the local organized crime kills you, you may be deemed as suicide and the criminals will get away with it.

  47. Outraged says:

    So tired of reading and hearing about what this man has done to this department in the many years he has been at the helm. It reflects on the quality of work put out by the organization. I see, read, and hear about sloppy work, unfair practices, cliques within the department, special favors for friends, and major lawsuits in the works. A change at the top is desperately needed. When there are so many decent candidates for the job available, why settle for this man. Do our research, read about what he does, talk to people who know, and vote him out of office!

  48. Outraged says:

    @Pinky, just read your comment. I heard all those things too from insiders. Not surprised because the leadership stinks. One of these days a major incident is inevitable, and PC will gain notoriety, just like Sanford, only worse, to the detriment of all. We need a change at top and a clean up of the organization.

  49. Outraged says:

    Just read this article on this issue in the News Journal. Looks like a solid piece of reporting by them in contrast to their usual insipid fare. I guess Don is not acquainted with the Latin phrase “ignorantia juris non excusat”. I would imagine someone in his position would know that. Didn’t know there was an initiation fee and a monthly fee for membership, over and above what he spends on meals, etc? Give me a break! I can’t be sure of this but my gut tells me he had many a free meal there!

    Sorry, but he needs to go. No wonder there is so much wrong with his department!

  50. shark says:

    Cut down on the donuts and please get a haircut!!!!

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