No Bull, No Fluff, No Smudges
Your news source for
Flagler, Florida and Beyond

Canvassing Board Rejects Weeks Attempt to Remove Hadeed as Attorney in Latest Clashes

| October 17, 2014

Today's Canvassing Board meeting focused on testing voting machines. Dwayne Weeks (left), husband of Supervisor of Elections Kimberle Weeks, stood by as County Judge Melissa Moore Stens and other members of the board tabulated testing results. (c FlaglerLive)

Today’s Canvassing Board meeting focused on testing voting machines. Dwayne Weeks (left), husband of Supervisor of Elections Kimberle Weeks, stood by as County Judge Melissa Moore Stens and other members of the board tabulated testing results. (c FlaglerLive)

The Flagler County Canvassing Board Friday morning rejected an attempt by Supervisor of Elections Kimberle Weeks and both her attorneys—she now has two—to remove Al Hadeed as Canvassing Board attorney. The decision reaffirms Hadeed’s role as the board attorney. But Weeks is not recognizing it, choosing instead to retain her own counsel, Roberta Walton of Orlando, to represent her on board matters.

The decision was prompted by an “open letter” written by Mike Lambert, a Daytona Beach attorney now representing Weeks as she is being investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement over a recording of a conversation Weeks made “illegally,” according to the county administration. (Asked about the status of the investigation, an FDLE spokeswoman said late Friday afternoon that “The case is active.”)


Lambert wrote the letter to County Court Judge Melissa Moore-Stens, who chairs the Canvassing Board, and who read the letter into the record. Citing “two strong irreconcilable camps with regard to the investigation,” Lambert said the board should have someone other than Hadeed as its attorney “because of the appearance and documented strain between him” and Weeks. The board attorney, Lamber wrote, should be someone who is “disinterested, not a party or potential material witness in the current investigation.” (The full letter is here.)

A long and at times tense discussion followed between the three members of the Canvassing Board: Moore-Stens, County Commissioner George Hanns, and Weeks, as Hadeed (who is the county attorney) sat at the table. Weeks made a motion to have Hadeed removed as the board attorney. She didn’t get a second. Hanns and Moore-Stens did not vote to keep Hadeed, but they didn’t need to: both made clear that they disagreed with Lambert and Weeks—and Walton, who at one point interjected her own opinion that Hadeed should be removed as board attorney (but also incorrectly stating that the administrative running of the board was the supervisor’s responsibility: state law is silent on that matter, but explicit about the judge chairing the proceedings, and the county commission having the authority to appoint a replacement for the supervisor in the event the supervisor is unable to attend, or is disqualified ) .

“I see no conflict as far as keeping Mr, Hadeed,” Hanns said. “I haven’t experienced any direct conflict that the attorney has created.” Weeks objected to a “duplication of services,” though it was she, without board approval, who brought in Walton as an attorney. Weeks then delved into issues years distant that she claims revealed Hadeed to have taken steps or provided counsel that could have potentially created difficulties for her office—claims Hadeed rejected as inaccurate or mis-characterized.

Before the meeting, County Administrator Craig Coffee brought in Chriustie Mayer, his administrative assistant, to record the meeting and take notes that will be turned into minutes of the meeting, a reflection of the county’s distrust of Weeks’s own minutes, which have been more tendentious than objective. Moore-Stens said the board had agreed on Sept. 12 that the minutes would be scaled back from Weeks’s version and state only the essence of actions and decisions of the board, with a recording as back-up for anyone interested in more details. Weeks, however, rejected Mayer’s role.

“I don’t know where it came in that Christy is doing the minutes,” Weeks said.

“But she is here recording,” the judge said.

“As I am,” Weeks said. The county recording is to be made available for public access, presumably more swiftly than Weeks has made recordings available.

Weeks wasn’t done: she said County Commissioner Charlie Ericksen, an alternate member of the board—he was not present today, being in training on county business in Alachua County—had made a $50 donation to County Commission incumbent candidate Frank Meeker in July. While the donation was not illegal under the law for an alternate member of the board., Weeks said it could send the impression of impropriety. (The $50 was payment at a heavily attended fund-raising function that day that also included a $50 donation from Dave Sullivan, the Republican Executive Committee chairman, who Weeks had invited to observe today’s proceedings. She also invited his Democratic equivalent, who was not present.)

And Weeks called Hanns’s comments in September, raising questions about the “integrity” of the primary election, “off the wall” and “inappropriate,” accusing him potentially shaking voters’ confidence in the process. Hanns called Weeks’s handling of the Sept. 12 Canvassing Board meeting, where she had numerous partisans in attendance, “off the wall,” called it “total chaos” and suggested it had been orchestrated, but assured Weeks that his comments about the integrity of the election were not personal.

In sum, what had started as a routine Canvassing Board meeting to check and test voting machines turned into what has become the norm at board meetings since August: a cringe-worthy exhibition of combativeness, gripes, protests and last words overwhelmingly provoked by Weeks.

There was a surprise. When Hanns asked Weeks whether she had worked out an agreement with Palm Coast on the use of the Community Center, ahead of the coming November election—an issue Weeks made bitterly contentious just before and during the primary election over matters almost irrelevant to voters—she said: “I haven’t worked on that yet.”

She then raised objections to the draft protocol Hadeed had worked out, at the Canvassing Board’s direction, to resolve the issues with Palm Coast. Weeks had rejected that protocol at the board’s raucous Sept. 12 meeting, when she also decided that Hadeed would no longer represent her on any matters. Moore-Stens tried to say that the issue was moot, since the board went along and shelved the proposed protocol, but Weeks persisted, saying that Hadeed’s work lacked all the issues of concern she had wanted included in it. Hadeed made one of two statements he spoke during today’s meeting, objecting to Weeks’s implication that it was a final proposal: “The context, Madam supervisor, was that it was a draft, it was stamped as a draft,” he said. (See the protocol here.)

The board shelved the proposal. But there was another surprise this morning. When asked where the city stood regarding its communications with Weeks, Virginia Smith, Palm Coast’s city clerk, who oversees elections for Palm Coast, said in an email: “The City of Palm Coast agrees with the agreement presented to the Canvassing Board and the Supervisor of Elections by County Attorney, Al Hadeed at the September 12, 2014 Canvassing Board meeting regarding the use of the Community Center. We have not been contacted by the Supervisor of Elections nor her attorney for anything different than as to what the City has agreed to.”

In other words, the Hadeed protocol, as far as Palm Coast is concerned, is the working document of the coming election.

The Canvassing Board had met at 9 this morning to test voting machines, as it is required to before an election, filling offices that last caught the county’s attention when Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents carried out a search warrant there earlier this month as part of an ongoing investigation of the Supervisor of Elections.

Until the testing of the machines was done at 10:30 Weeks raised no issues and the meetings looked like it would wind down calmly. There were only a dozen people in attendance not connected to the proceedings–and no recording device was left behind in the Canvassing Board conference room when the board moved to the larger room nearby to test machines.

It was in the conference room that Weeks had left her recording device on a previous occasion and surreptitiously recorded Hadeed and Erickesn in a private conversation, which Weeks then made public in an attempt to embarrass them. That’s the recording that triggered FDLE’s investigation.

Today, while Hadeed remained in the conference room as he usually does, while the board did its testing work in the adjoining room, the only Weeks factor left behind with Hadeed was her husband, Dwayne, whose presence throughout was one of the unusual wrinkles of today’s meeting. He last made news when he confronted Meeker in a brief altercation at a candidate forum in late September, in response to Meeker’s August insult of Kimberle Weeks. (He suggested that the State Attorney appoint an attorney for the board, instead of Hadeed. It is the State Attorney’s office that forwarded materials to FDLE leading to Weeks’s investigation.)

There were other such wrinkles. Jim Halter, an official with the Florida Division of Elections, was also present to observe the proceedings. And of course the county had its own minute-taker at the meeting. People in attendance included Weeks partisans, among them Dennis McDonald, Carol Hawkins and a few poll workers, opponents that included Kimble Medley, and observers such as Sullivan.

The meeting ended for good a little before noon.

Print Friendly

15 Responses for “Canvassing Board Rejects Weeks Attempt to Remove Hadeed as Attorney in Latest Clashes”

  1. fruitcake says:

    How much longer must we endure this nonsense ?

  2. rooster says:

    think its about time to get rid of this weeks and her good ol boy posse… very suspicious when you have to have your own attorney never mind two????

  3. YankeeExPat says:

    Which is slimier? Flagler County politics or Okra?

  4. Niki says:

    Stay in there Ms. Weeks, don’t let anyone intimidate you. Especially any attorney or politician!!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    The Drama!! The Intrigue!!! Don’t forget to tune in next week to see what Ms. Weeks is up to, and how she is wasting your money!!!

  6. fbmrk says:

    The Drama!! The Intrigue!! Don’t forget to tune in next week to see how Ms. Weeks is making a fool out of herself and wasting your money. This is worse than buying a $600,000 fire truck that you don’t need. But at least it makes me laugh.

  7. COS says:

    Mrs. Weeks is fending off the corrupted transplants that have taken over PC! Maybe Mrs. Weeks could get the Red Light Camera removal vote on the ballot!

    • Michael says:

      Yes all the people who moved here are corrupt, its the good old boy mentality that haa got to go!!! Why is her husband Dwyane there? the funny part is who could that guy possibly intimidate. Weeks and her attitude are what is wrong here, nothing more.

  8. HonkeyDude says:

    As Flagler Turns these are the wasted Dollars of Our Lives!

  9. mad in flagler says:

    How much longer can the state stay out of the Weeks fiasco? I sincerely hope Weeks is not sticking the county with her lawyers tab. Someone with the authority to take action needs to review her actions, and her competency to perform the job she was voted to do.
    Outside of a recall vote, is there something we citizens can do to either rein her in (unlikely,) or get her removed?

  10. MaryJo says:

    She’s just gotta go. This is absurd. Totally absurd.

  11. samantha claire says:

    Do look for a connection between Ms. Weeks and the McDonald election fraud investigation. Weeks and her best friend and agitator Dennis McDonald are now both in trouble. Weeks appears to have been complicit in covering up McDonald’s voter registration anomalies. Too much smoke in this pot, look for fire when the two smoking investigations come together.

    McDonald, from the start, has been Weeks’ closest adviser in her ridiculous campaign against the City of Palm Coast over non-existent fabricated voting problems. More McDonald’s Reagan assembly M.O. than Weeks. Weeks has performed as his surrogate while he stays in background directing the dance.

    This mess is most un-helpful to the Howard Holley campaign, as Dennis McDonald has become Holley’s newest “close adviser” joining Rob Radford. He will do the same public political damage to Holley as he has done to the Reagans, Tea Party, himself and his wife Janet”s school board candidacy.

    SC

  12. biker says:

    Vote no on all Ronald Regan Assembly Candidates!! We do not need people in office that use terms like “purity of the party” and “Cleansing of the party” These people are too dangerous to have as our elected officials. Send them a message this November.

Leave a Reply

Read FlaglerLive's Comment Policy | Subscribe to the Comment Feed rss flaglerlive comment feed rss

More stories on FlaglerLive
Loading

ADVERTISEMENTS

support flaglerlive palm coast flagler county news pierre tristam
news service of florida

Subscribe to FlaglerLive

Get immediate notification of new stories.

Advertisement
Log in
| FlaglerLive, P.O. Box 354263, Palm Coast, FL 32135-4263 | 386/586-0257

FlaglerLive.com