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Contempt and Deception: How Flagler County Sealed a Dirty Deal for the Old Hospital

| August 16, 2013

County Administrator Craig Coffey, facing the camera, as he was briefing county commissioners and others before tours of the old Memorial hospital in May. (© FlaglerLive)

County Administrator Craig Coffey, facing the camera, as he was briefing county commissioners and others before tours of the old Memorial hospital in May. (© FlaglerLive)

It’s not unusual for politicians and their administrators on our local government boards to blow smoke in taxpayers’ eyes as they go about misusing taxpayer money. But last week’s dog and pony show by County Administrator Craig Coffey and Commission Chairman Nate McLaughlin stands out.

pierre tristam column flaglerlive.com flaglerlive

They insulted the public’s intelligence by claiming to have been transparent about the hurried deal to buy the old and decrepit Memorial hospital for the indefensible price of $1.23 million (for a property that sold for $750,000 in 2003 and that hasn’t exactly gotten handsomer since). They hid behind the cherry-picked documents Coffey stage-managed as if the substance of the deal was in those documents rather than in secret meetings Coffey carried out, with his commissioners’ knowledge, but not the public’s. Let’s not forget that on this allegedly transparent and sunshine-challenged commission, every commissioner knew a deal was going down with the hospital owners in April before it was ever mentioned in public, until FlaglerLive reported it.

And of course during that seal-the-deal commission meeting last week Coffey mocked what he calls the local “papers,” accusing them of reporting only “snippets,” and urging people to get the real truth by looking up records posted on the county’s website and in discussions spoken during workshops and meetings. “I wouldn’t encourage people to read the paper,” were Coffey’s exact words.

Because as we all know, there’s nothing like government honesty.

McLaughlin’s snide thank you to Coffey aside, fellow-commissioners sat there with their complicit silence, letting their administrator disparage local businesses as they never would let him if he was referring to, say, one of their pals’ banks, or one of their lawyer pals’ firms. But they have reasons to keep mum. Remember, these commissioners are paying for all this with proceeds from a sales tax they passed unilaterally last year and for the next 20 years, knowing fully well it wouldn’t pass at the ballot box. They don’t like these reminders because it gives voters ideas when they do get a chance to vote.

That’s why bashing media is every craven politician’s cheapest scapegoat. The problem in this case is that Coffey and McLaughlin did the bashing behind a small army of straw men, then turned around and flatly peddled one deception after another.

Craig Coffey. (© FlaglerLive)

Craig Coffey. (© FlaglerLive)

Coffey passed off a PowerPoint presentation that any clever middle schooler could have cut and pasted together as the end-all analysis of the deal. To put “PowerPoint” and “analysis” in the same sentence is an oxymoron. But even the missing bullet points left gaping holes in the presentation. There were no answers to basic questions such as the recurring costs of running that colossal new acquisition, the lost tax revenue to local governments (especially Bunnell’s crippled redevelopment taxing district for that area), the source of money for the interest payments on the loan the county will soon take out to pay for its potato-salad of a building, all this presumably with the similarly mounting maintenance costs of the larger jail Coffey and the sheriff want to build, not to mention the mountain of cans commissioners and Coffey say they’ve been kicking down the road, and that they’ll have to be paying for very soon, and so on. None of that was even hinted at in Coffey’s “analysis.”

A few weeks ago Commissioner Barbara Revels pointed out the lack of cleanliness in the Government Services Building, brought on by cuts in custodial services. If the county is having trouble keeping its main building’s toilets, it’ll be interesting to see how it intends to manage a 60,000 square foot addition—with money that will have to come out of the general fund, not from sales tax revenue. Money it does not have. Money it is as we speak raising taxes dramatically to close its deficits.

Not that you saw any of this in that pretty PowerPoint, either.

Click On:



The Documents:


One of Coffey’s most blatant deceptions, never once questioned by commissioners too busy playing their assigned roles in this closed-circuit circle jerk, was the calculation of the 60,000 square foot hospital’s reconstruction costs. First, he tried to deflate the purchase cost by $750,000 by applying a nutty pro-rated formula in accordance with the square footage only the sheriff would use, as if the county were buying just half the thing. It took Commissioner Charlie Ericksen, a Colombo-type personality who hides his claws behind a genial demeanor, to set Coffey’s numbers straight.

But only half the numbers. The rest of the discussion stuck to costs of reconstruction applying only to the half of the building the county will refurbish immediately, without taking into account the reconstruction and maintenance cost of the whole structure even though one of the selling points of the building is its size, and what it will enable the county to do in the future. One of Coffey’s “options” included that of demolishing the hospital and building new, at a cost of $4.55 million. That option was included as if to highlight its expense: $7.8 million overall, as opposed to $6.55 million for merely refurbishing half the existing building. But the $7.8 million was as close to an honest number as there was that day. It was quickly dismissed. There was a script to follow.

McLaughlin, who had been more cautious and questioning until then, went so far as to say that the hospital buy is only the culmination of years of meetings—as if the county had been negotiating buying the hospital for the past seven years rather than the past few weeks. But what the hell. Since there’s a document about rebuilding the sheriff’s office and jail dating back to 2005, let’s just say, as Coffey did, that this deal has been in the works eight years. You could dance sophistry to the rhythms of Coffey’s logic.

(And not just sophistry. There’s something sinister about the way Coffey tries to undermine his challengers. When I called him last Friday afternoon to get his reaction to County Spokesman—and my former colleague—Carl Laundrie’s accident, Coffey intimated that I was to blame for the wreck, because Laundrie had been “agitated” from hearing a version of this piece air on WNZF Friday morning. It was a vile suggestion, and Coffey knew it. He backed off when I protested. But he’d made it. That was enough. So he rolls.)


It got worse in that meeting last week. Coffey at one point not only again blamed the media about inaccurately reporting the original acquisition price of the hospital years ago. He went on to misstate the facts himself, and very gravely so, because he was again and falsely making it seem as if the sellers were giving away the property at a loss. This is what Coffey said: “The purchase price that the current owners paid of $750,000, that is not correct. Mr. Gardner will tell you that that was a number generated from his office through some error in software or what have you, but the actual purchase price, he does not have, it’s not recorded in that sense. Essentially it was a $1.6 million purchase.”

He just threw that figure out there. A figure more than twice the formal selling price. A figure backed by not a single official document, though Coffey can refer to an obscure one-page memo—not from the hospital owners, not one of whom showed his face throughout this charade, but from their real estate broker. And again, not one commissioner questioned Coffey about the substance of his $1.6 million figure. Ah, the transparency.

Coffey was conveniently mixing fact and fiction. There was a fictional transaction once recorded in Gardner’s records. Gardner has since removed any trace of that alleged 2006 real estate deal from his website, because there indeed was none. But nor was there a fictional $1.6 million transaction.

The original acquisition of the hospital, by Michael Chiumento (one of the current owners), under what was then called the Maluchi Development Corporation, closed for $750,000 on June 5, 2003. That’s the only official deal in the books. That’s the only sale figure Coffey should have cited. That figure is not based on property appraiser records, on “some software error” or anyone’s memo, but on the Clerk of Court’s records, and the dock stamp tax Chiumento’s company paid on the acquisition. Records show Chiumento changed his corporation’s name to Flagler Crossroads around 2005, dropped a couple of partners and took on a couple of new ones. He is the constant. But what business partners conducted among themselves is their business. It never amounted to an official real estate sale of the building itself. No records to show it, no tax trail.

By law, real estate transactions carry a 70-cent per $100 dock stamp tax on all documents that transfer interest in real property, if we’re to believe the Florida Department of Revenue. If you conduct a real estate transaction and don’t pay that tax, you’re evading taxes. All such transactions must be recorded with the clerk of court. (There are several mortgages under Maluchi-Crossroad’s name between 2003 and 2007, which are taxed differently, but taking out mortgages was last decade’s pastime.) There is only one transaction taxed at that rate since Maluchi took over, and that’s the 2003 transaction.

So either the owners of Flagler Hospital somewhere along the way conducted a $1.6 million real estate transaction, but didn’t pay the tax, or there never was a $1.6 million sale, and that $750,000 price is the true price paid for the building, netting its owners the astronomical profit they’re now set to reap.

Yet Coffey wants us to trust him and his numbers. Not the media. Not clerk of court and tax records. Just Coffey and his snippets. He wants us to trust him that the old hospital was a prize the county shouldn’t let slip away, that the price couldn’t have been negotiated down to a less ungodly level, though Chiumento and his partners couldn’t find a buyer for it year after year—until the county came along.

I think I’ll pass. I’ll take the papers over Coffey any day. Lucky for Coffey he has his commissioners exactly where he wants them: in his amen corner. And together they’re again making suckers of taxpayers, who’ll be paying for this for many years, with more bullet points than could ever fit on a PowerPoint.

Cue the greasy sequel to the potato palace.

Pierre Tristam is FlaglerLive’s editor. Reach him by email here.

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71 Responses for “Contempt and Deception: How Flagler County Sealed a Dirty Deal for the Old Hospital”

  1. Florida Native says:

    More payoff money moves in political circles in Palm Coast and Flagler County than in Harrah’s In Las Vegas.

  2. downinthelab says:

    NIce reporting Pierre!

    All elements are there to make this a done deal: evasion of Sunshine laws, possible tax fraud, fleecing the voters, and politicians lining their own pockets. Might have a Federal case if you can trace the money far enough..

    • Rick Belhumeur says:

      The real problem is that “John Q. Public” does not get involved. Most people are so busy with their own lives to pay attention to what’s going on and then complain when it’s all over. People have to understand that their involvement doesn’t have to stop on election day. PAY ATTENTION to what’s going on! PASS ALONG your thoughts to those that are supposed to be representing you before they make decisions that affect each and every one of us.

  3. tom jack says:

    I rarely agree with you Mr. Tristam, but you hit the nail on the head with this one. Well written and on point.

  4. I had commented before, in a previous Flagler Live article, about the two appraisals the county obtained on this property back in July. (The appraisals can be read here and here.) The county gave the appraisers a specific instruction to use a hypothetical condition in the assignment. I encourage the public to read those reports to better understand the use of “hypothetical condition”. The appraisers did nothing wrong; however, an appraisal “as is” might show a different result. It appears that the county led (or misled) the appraisers.

    • Mike says:

      @ Charles Gardner, this sounds very fish to the public, just print what the property was sold for in 2003, never mind the excuses or apprassials, just the sale price. We do not need excuses from politicians, just facts, so link us to the actual sale price.

    • ken says:

      I agree with Charles. It would be helpful to know who, in the county, set the conditions for the appraisals and what was their rationale for setting those conditions.

  5. Anita says:

    Good Job nailing them, Pierre! These questions are begging for further investigation.

  6. fruitcake says:

    How can we stop this man…and the deal from going thru?
    They all should be in jail !!!…but instead they are laughing
    at us…the stupid tax payers!

  7. Donna Heiss says:

    Kudos Pierre. Your best article to date!

  8. AceDeadEyeJohnson says:

    Stinks of good ole boy buggery…….thought this kind of crap had gone the way of the dinosaur…..guess not!!!….save your money Flagler tax payers…..someone has to pay for it……LOL

    • Raul Troche says:

      The good Ol boy says to his dad, “I’m thinking about getting into a life of crime.”
      His dad responds with, “Government or private sector?”
      Sound like one of these criminals?

  9. John Smith says:

    Well 2 and I mean 2 peas in a POD. Craig Coffey and Bruce Campbell both are of the same mold the way they think they are above the LAW and the RIGHT way things are to be DONE. Keep up your good reporting of these issues and the Flagler Beach issues. They both are quick to blame someone else to get there heat off of them.

  10. confidential says:

    File a complaint with the Feds, Regional FBI offices in Jacksonville and beyond if necessary. They are buying useless real estate to benefit their elite buddies with our hard earned taxes and increasing our taxes while nickeling and diming or cutting our services that we pay for and neglecting our infrastructure at the same time. Coffey got to go, so the BOCC members approving this fraud! Now the latest is that our local Pierre bravely brings these issues into the open and is openly accused or harassed of wrong doing with non basis? Sure I know what is to have a business in this county and or city and be threaten to shut up or suffer the wrath over Freedom of speech.

  11. A.S.F. says:

    Have we abandoned the idea of a special referendum? Can some citizens group sue for “bad faith” if (and when) a thorough investigation supports the allegations inferred above? What exactly is in all this for Coffey, et al? Is the inference that Mr. Coffey or someone associated with him will personal profit from this deal or that the ones who stand to reap the profits are the people who bankrolled his campaign, so he is essentially paying them “quid pro quo?”

  12. Ron says:

    Dirty dealing and corruption in Flagler County? I am shocked!

    The commission has been called out as corrupt and clandestined but they brazenly continue to act in their corrupt, conniving style. They care nothing of what the public thinks or how much they rob from the public coffers.

  13. tulip says:

    The way I hear it is that Alan Peterson and then Hutch King spoke at the budget meeting and brought up the issue of the numbers being distorted in favor of the purchase, and Ericksen appeared to be the only Commissioner that paid attention to those comments.

  14. Hold the Commissioners Accountable says:

    Since Coffey works for the Commissioners I think they should review his contract that he slipped in before the election when he had the last board right where he wanted them and let they may agree with Milissa Holland and Bob Abbot and send Coffey packing for all the stunts as this that Coffey has pulled off! The Commissioners need to be held accountable for letting Coffey run their circus. if they let it continue, the voters need to take action. For the Commissioners not to do anything, shows they approve and condone this type of leadership.

  15. Ray Thorne says:

    Excellent article.

  16. joe says:

    Great read, kudos to you for having the balls to expose these flim flammers, maybe Frank will come on again and explain again why he voted for this! My name is Joe and I made a mistake in November!!!!!

  17. Phil McElrath says:

    Will Flaglerlive.com stay on the trail of this?

  18. Outsider says:

    I wonder where Coffey gets his ideas; “Don’t read the paper” sounds a lot like “Don’t watch Fox News.”

  19. Jim says:

    If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is a duck. Insert crook in place of duck.

  20. Just a thought says:

    I am sure Mr Laundrie has way too much class to respond to Coffy’s statement that you caused his accident. But I don’t. For Coffy to even insinuate you had some cause of his accident is the most agregious act of deflecting the spotlight that I have ever seen, even from the most weasley politician I have ever met. He blamed you for Mr Laundrie’s accident the same way the Son of Sam blamed a dog. He needs to apologize at a public meeting. But weasles never admit wrong doing.

  21. Perriwinkle says:

    I was laughing at your choice of words & crying because of what this all implies. Excellent journalism Pierre. Kudos to you! They think we’re just a bunch of numskulls. This needs to be printed & sent to every newspaper across the state & the whole country. What they have done is wrong, wrong wrong. But they WILL find someway to justify it. Glad I shared this on FB, seeing as 1/2 of the people I know are up north, they’ll read this & think long & hard before they ever consider moving to PC & I will encourage they share it with their friends.

  22. Just saying.... says:

    Well there goes any shot of county employees getting their 3% cost of living raise that they have been denied the last 6 years! Thanks again Coffey for blowing more smoke up our rear ends!!!

  23. trebor says:

    EXCELLENT REPORTING. HOWEVER, WITH THE RAMPANT APATHY OF FLAGLER COUNTY TAXPAYERS AND VOTERS, THE COMISSION WILL DO WHAT EVER IT PLEASES. AN ACTIVE GROUP OF RESIDENTS TO RAISE A CRY OF CORRUPTION DOES NOT EXIST. NOTHING UNIQUE, THE CITY OF PALM COAST HAS THE IDENTICAL DISEASE,

  24. Sgt Saber says:

    “Closed-circuit circle jerk”…………. Yep, Welcome to Palm Coast !!!

  25. Coffey needs to be reprimanded or dismissed for misrepresentation says:

    Coffey could be hazardous to your health and wealth! Instead of Revels saying she is going to do her own homework, she needs to stop paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to those as Coffey for not doing his homework! Allowing Coffey to misrepresent issues is misfeasance and he and commissioners should be removed for such. This should be criminal Pierre. I know this isn’t the first snow job Coffey has pulled off and would like to know why you and everyone else hasn’t been keeping us informed.

  26. Concerned local resident says:

    Good for you Mr. Tristam!! It’s about time someone called Mr Coffey out on his shady way of doing county business!! If the commissioners won’t get rid of him I will be a part in voting them out next election. Enough is enough, stop wasting our tax dollars for your own personal interest and gain!!! Your going to bankrupt our county!!!!

  27. Follow the trail, BFF Bruce Page and Barbara Revels 1of 3 owners WOW

  28. Joe says:

    Pierre, I must say you are born again hard. I am excited to see you writing on important topics like this and not on anything that has to do with someone using a gun to express himself. It is courageous of you to put these people on blast and make the citizens of Flagler County aware of the pocket pool dealings that are taking place right under our noses. I still don’t care for you but this piece is worth applauding, nice work.

  29. PC Mom says:

    I thought Mr Coffey was different.
    He had me fooled….

  30. NortonSmitty says:

    If you add up the interest on the loan it might add up to $1.6 Mil, as I’m sure Mr. Coffee did, it would greatly pad the total of the owners investment in the building. Misleading, but common.

    If we are going to get to the core of this obvious insider fraud and rape of us taxpayers, there are a few more things we should know that should be readily available to anyone with any experience in real estate.

    First, who are all the owners of this property from the initial transfer from the time the hospital abandoned the property on through to the owners who benefited from the sale today. All of them, private investors or stockholders in all the lines of corporate and private ownership this property has passed through down to ones who profited today. A chain of possession.

    Second, who financed the initial purchase and signed off on all of the transfers as it changed hands down to the current sale. Who backed it with money or credit, what connection if any do they have to the current officeholders who approved this obviously overly generous purchase in our names.

    Third, how will this money be distributed, to owners, brokers or consultants. After the sale, it will be difficult to trace it’s distribution. Maybe there is a sunshine law provision we could invoke prior to cutting the check.

    If anybody could look up this data and forward it to Pierre for print on this site, it would benefit all of us in the community.

    This stinks to high heaven on a cool day. If we let these pompous tools rub our faces into an obvious pile of shit like this, we’re admitting we are powerless under their heels. And it ain’t so much the money as it is the embarrassment of letting these obviously stupid bastards think that they can pull this off on all of us anytime they want. Just what does it take to make us all rise up and say Enough!

    • Shocked, I tell you... says:

      Both the county and city have been padding purchases to these gents for years. Go back through those tax records and those land sales. Flagler County (and the city) have been particularly good to two major land holders here.

      This is why you NEVER want to have realtors or lobbyists on elective bodies. You are not their primary business. And in my view, both the county administrator and city manager here make waaaaaaay too much money for jobs they are not accountable to the taxpayers for.

      It is time to restructure our local government.

  31. From the cheap seats says:

    Great reporting, my subscription is overdue. Coffey would never make a move unless there was deep support on the Board for thiis. Probably Revels didn’t want it on her watch. The rest of us need to stop doing business with the people involved. Move to another bank and get a different attorney. Coffey should read Mark Twain- never argue with someone who buys ink by the barrel.

  32. Shocked, I tell you... says:

    Time to get the feds in here and go over everybody’s records. Why does Mr. Chiumento’s name keep popping up in most of these fuzzy deals? Blowing smoke is putting it mildly. If you’re clean, let’s prove it to their satisfaction.

    It is long past time for a complete investigation of the dirty dealings here and it looks like you’ve done an excellent job, Flagler Live.

    We deserve MUCH better government than this.

  33. Mike says:

    McLaughlin has a seedy background as a business owner and has been trying to be a politician here in Flagler for years, he finally succeeded and now he is showing his true colors. The fact that he and Barbara Revels are both seasoned real-estate professionals should have raised questions when they agreed to purchase that run down building for top dollar. Barbara Revels walked around with a flashlight and decided it looked good, let purchase it at a bloated price. If this act by the Flagler County commission does not bring out the voters at the next election to oust these criminals than it is time to move out of Flagler.

  34. If current owners really paid more than $750,000 then then should have to have then unpaid DOC STAMP TAX at .70 per $100 deducted from their big fat profit ( and then to recup the deed tax usually paid by the seller they can go after the group who sold it to them -which is themselves once again )and their tax basis should be adjusted accordingly and proportionately to their ‘ original purchase’ retroactive. If Jay Gardner’s software had a glitch how come our taxes went way up? I never heard of a ‘swinging glitch’. Has anyone? Just wondering

  35. Yellowstone says:

    I guess this decision has a lot to do about job creation, huh? Your paycheck will be in the mailbox – along with your revised property tax statement . . .

    So, how does that pay system work? “One for you, two for me, three for you, four for me . . . ”

    Follow the money folks! Keep both eyes on the shell game.

  36. John Gault says says:

    EXCELLENT REPORTING PIERRE????? Now we have to do what the commissioners in Bunnell have done REDUCE Coffe’s salary by $90,000. or let him go! These commissioners have got to go also, EXCEPT CHARLIE ERICKSON. The people of Plantation Bay should be up in arms with Nat McLaughlin. He is not our voted in commissioner. When they changed the boundaries they took away Barbara Revels, no loss though, and gave us puppy dog Nat McLaughlin. People do you like your elected officials making decisions for you with your money. I don’t. Get off your duffs and stop complaining and do something intelligent.

  37. Marissa says:

    Socrates [Pierre] replys to Craig Coffey:

    “Know well, my dear comrade [Craig], that these things are what I seem to hear, just as the Corybantes seem to hear the flutes, and this echo of the speeches is booming within me and makes me unable to hear the others.”

    Socrates [Pierre] says:

    (with transparent irony) “I nearly forgot myself” because of the persuasiveness of his accusers’ speech. That [I] cannot be taken seriously here (as many people assume) is further suggested by the fact that elsewhere, he [Craig] refers to the Corybantic dancers as being out of their senses.”

    Pierre says to Craig:

    “You are truly (or “artlessly”) a lover of argument and a fine fellow, Craig, the way you take me so facilely for a sack [windbag] full of arguments”, for arguments sake.

    The voters of Flagler County should be demanding an investigation into the sale of this transaction from Chiumento-to-Coffey-to the County Commissioners who put the taxpayers in harms way. If ever there was a boondoggle, this is it. I, for one, demand an investigation and untimely accident in the pond?

  38. A Plantation Bay Resident says:

    Pierre. Please bring people up to date with the county and Bunnel purchase of the broken down contamamated utility plant in Plantation Bay. Another bad put through by Coffee and Nat McLaughlin. The so called TRANSPARENT deals stink. This deal only benefited Mori Housani not the residents od Plantation Bay. THese county commissioners, except for Charlie Erickson, have got to go. Please do research on this ugly decision and p,ease let me know what we the people here can do to stop it.

    • Shocked, I tell you... says:

      At Plantation Bay Resident: Recently when discussing the purchase of this monstrosity to which you refer, (so contaminated that it is not even operable) a commissioner was heard saying, “You people don’t have to pay for this; it is those at Plantation Bay!”

      Something else for Pierre to look into: I believe it is odd that the state inspection did not prevent this monstrosity from being sold until the seller had fully repaired it. Is that not the purpose of the State Utility commission, to keep regulate things like this and prevent the taxpayers from being fleeced? Were they paid off?

  39. Common Sense says:

    Excellent article, Mr. Tristam.

    Is there nothing the citizens can do to stop this?
    We need to vote them out and get rid of Coffey.
    They are on their way to bankrupting this county.

  40. DoubleGator says:

    You certainly have some strong feelings here Pierre. Well written. I would only comment that it often occurs that business partners seperate and one buys the other out (or new folks buy in) while the entity which owns the property remains the same. In this case the sole asset would appear to be this real estate. So for the purpose of buying out a partner (or buying that partner’s stock), they would have made a determination of the value of the asset. I see nothing unusual nor sinister if that is what occured. It happens all the time. Record ownership never having changed, a sale of the real estate not occuring but reflective of how they (the business partners) then valued the real esate if the sole asset of the corporation is a vacant building.

  41. Random Citizen says:

    Would anyone be interested in forming a “Flagler County Government Accountability Board”?

    I wonder how many “consultation fees” get distributed in the form of cash behind closed doors each year?

    These public officials blatant contempt for what the public think is such an obvious “tell”.

  42. Random Citizen says:

    “In Florida, transparency is not up to the whim or grace of public officials.
    Instead, it is an enforceable right.”

    ~ Attorney General Pam Bondi

  43. don't buy from bailed out says:

    This is beyond belief!!! Schools need money and struggle to cut costs because- your costs are to high!

    A free computer (to them but not for us) for every student – are you NUTS !!

    Our food bank is running low own supplies. High school students, living in cars. Violent crimes up in the county. Manfre firing Lt’s. to reduce cost and eliminating Captain positions as well. Who is in charge of the FCSD troops on the street ????

    We buy a waste water plant that is decrepid. Flagler Beach buys a $175,000 abandoned Golf Course for $490,000. Revel agrees to kill “early release program because “it won’t save any money”- REALLY.

    Non certified people are running fire calls in Flagler Beach and break every rule of a dangerous under ground rescue. Cute kitten saved – thank god the young woman who ignored a direct order from her superior is OK.

    The City Manager of Bunnell is fired – rehired- re fired. ?????

    The OLD Hospital is a money sink hole waiting to open and swallow up OUR money.

    Does anyone else out there think there is an reincarnation of ” the night of the body snatchers” going on in Flagler County ?

    • Ray Thorne says:

      “Violent crimes up in the county. Manfre firing Lt’s. to reduce cost and eliminating Captain positions as well. Who is in charge of the FCSD troops on the street ????”

      Dont forget Majors as well. FCSO has lost a lot of experience when those tenured officers were forced out. I know of a few other tenured officers in supervisory roles are set to retire soon as well. Hold on to your hat.

    • Ray Thorne says:

      “Violent crimes up in the county. Manfre firing Lt’s. to reduce cost and eliminating Captain positions as well. Who is in charge of the FCSD troops on the street ????”

      Dont forget Majors as well. Seems FCSO has lost a lot of experience when those tenured officers were forced out. I know of a few other tenured officers in supervisory roles are set to retire soon as well. Hold on to your hat.

  44. Initialjoe says:

    WHAT CAN WE DO?

  45. Columbo says:

    I voted for Mr Ericksen. Good to know he is a Columbo type. This hospital deal, Mr Cofey, and those government officials involved in providing bad governance to the taxpayers all need to be investigated and removed in the same manner public eyesores are removed…

  46. A.S.F. says:

    I once lived in New Orleans, Louisiana. I thought nothing could be more corrupt than that. From what I am hearing and reading about the goings on right here in Flagler County, Florida, I guess I was wrong.

    • Pamela Andrews says:

      We have been trying to tell you these men are not who and what they claim to be, and what is more disappointing is we still have no manned fire station as promised here in Daytona North…
      waste of money to keep them there..we need a change here as much as we do in D.C…
      Wake up Flagler County…corruption running large here too…

  47. Diego Miller says:

    Mr. Coffey should never have been picked in the first place. He is a poser with no pedigree. He would be better suited as a used car salesman at Gibbs Chevrolet. The County Commission has kept Flagler County in the nineteenth century. Shame on these Commissioners whose silence is deafining.

  48. Nancy N. says:

    Wow the commission must have really screwed up…Pierre wrote a political article and there’s over 50 comments and not a single person has called him names yet.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Pierre,
    Stay on this board of county commissioners and their staff. They have been doing deals as this all along and getting away with it. This needs to stop. They railroad the public with their Citizens Acadamy showing and telling only what thy want to show and tell you. Why have you not been exposing how they do business all along? Keep up the good reporting. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

  50. Ron says:

    The level of corruption, pay offs, collusion and breach of ethics must be so great amongst Flagler Country administrators and the council that something of this brazen magnitude can be thrust to fuition even with the public outrage a fever pitch.

    The Flagler County administrators and council are giving the finger to PC residents and declaring they have ZERO REGARD for the will of the people. They are renegades, outlaws and crooks. This is all coming down from the model set by the white house. The corruption and stain of lawlessness is seeping into local governments directly from the corruption, brazen dishonesty and lack of respect for the rule of law that the progressive left white house is providing. Yes, that is a terrible fact and a shame.

    • A.S.F. says:

      You are trying to blame Obama for this…SERIOUSLY??? That’s quite a stretch, even for the most rabid of FOX news addicts!

  51. Thisiswhy says:

    I moved out of Palm Coast. This article is unbelievable – what’s the motive for it’s publication? Public shame? Now.. the information about government activities may be truthful, but public admonishment of behavior isn’t going to force better choices by these people. Three hundred years of history has proven this, and conversely it’ll make them more selfish, more deceitful and insanely driven by ego – all of which have are rooted in fear.

    I say don’t lower yourself to others standards, it’s very unattractive, and besides, they’ll all end up broke or alone or both.

    Thanks.

  52. Kelly83 says:

    This is a sham, we need to get together with signs and contact other media sources, I think one sign should say Crooks, Thieves, How much asbestos is in there? How much lead is in there? This is ridiculous. We need to band together as citizens of this county and fight against them. I say we meet there every night. You want to know what we need to do???? Well let’s band together and go after them with media attention, let the rest of the world know what kind of morons we have running our city and county.

  53. Kelly83 says:

    And another thing, I am suspect of the fact that Nate McGlaughlin, Barbara Revels, Manfre and his wife are all involved in real estate. In my opinion somebody is making money on this deal and not only Chimento and his partners.

    Chimento seems to be the common denominator in the Palm Harbor Shopping Center expansion,the Town Center Property and City Hall, and the old hospital property. Things that make you go hummmmmmmm………….

  54. Observer says:

    If Nate McLaughlin is involved you can be sure of improprieties. Wake up voters this guy has no character whatsoever

  55. Random Citizen says:

    From Florida’s website (nothing added or removed) about Sunshine violations:

    http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=Ch0350/SEC042.HTM&Title=-%3E2001-%3ECh0350-%3ESection%20042#0350.042

    The 2001 Florida Statutes

    Title XXVII
    Railroads And Other Regulated Utilities
    Chapter 350
    Florida Public Service Commission
    View Entire Chapter
    350.042 Ex parte communications.–

    (1) A commissioner should accord to every person who is legally interested in a proceeding, or the person’s lawyer, full right to be heard according to law, and, except as authorized by law, shall neither initiate nor consider ex parte communications concerning the merits, threat, or offer of reward in any proceeding other than a proceeding under s. 120.54 or s. 120.565, workshops, or internal affairs meetings. No individual shall discuss ex parte with a commissioner the merits of any issue that he or she knows will be filed with the commission within 90 days. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to commission staff.

    (2) The provisions of this section shall not prohibit an individual residential ratepayer from communicating with a commissioner, provided that the ratepayer is representing only himself or herself, without compensation.

    (3) This section shall not apply to oral communications or discussions in scheduled and noticed open public meetings of educational programs or of a conference or other meeting of an association of regulatory agencies.

    (4) If a commissioner knowingly receives an ex parte communication relative to a proceeding other than as set forth in subsection (1), to which he or she is assigned, he or she must place on the record of the proceeding copies of all written communications received, all written responses to the communications, and a memorandum stating the substance of all oral communications received and all oral responses made, and shall give written notice to all parties to the communication that such matters have been placed on the record. Any party who desires to respond to an ex parte communication may do so. The response must be received by the commission within 10 days after receiving notice that the ex parte communication has been placed on the record. The commissioner may, if he or she deems it necessary to eliminate the effect of an ex parte communication received by him or her, withdraw from the proceeding, in which case the chair shall substitute another commissioner for the proceeding.

    (5) Any individual who makes an ex parte communication shall submit to the commission a written statement describing the nature of such communication, to include the name of the person making the communication, the name of the commissioner or commissioners receiving the communication, copies of all written communications made, all written responses to such communications, and a memorandum stating the substance of all oral communications received and all oral responses made. The commission shall place on the record of a proceeding all such communications.

    (6) Any commissioner who knowingly fails to place on the record any such communications, in violation of the section, within 15 days of the date of such communication is subject to removal and may be assessed a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000.

    (7)(a) It shall be the duty of the Commission on Ethics to receive and investigate sworn complaints of violations of this section pursuant to the procedures contained in ss. 112.322-112.3241.

    (b) If the Commission on Ethics finds that there has been a violation of this section by a public service commissioner, it shall provide the Governor and the Florida Public Service Commission Nominating Council with a report of its findings and recommendations. The Governor is authorized to enforce the findings and recommendations of the Commission on Ethics, pursuant to part III of chapter 112.

    (c) If a commissioner fails or refuses to pay the Commission on Ethics any civil penalties assessed pursuant to the provisions of this section, the Commission on Ethics may bring an action in any circuit court to enforce such penalty.

    History.–s. 4, ch. 90-272; s. 532, ch. 95-148.

  56. From the cheap seats says:

    Now i know why Coffey got a sweetheart deal last time his contract came up. Commissioners knew they were asking him to do their dirty work, gave him a contract that gets him past an election cycle.

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