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

All Charges Dropped Against Charlie Faulkner in Tendentious Arrest Over Political Sign Removal

| June 15, 2016

charlie faulkner political signs

Where the sign was. (© FlaglerLive)

All charges have been dropped in the dubious case against Charlie Faulkner, the Flagler Beach developer who last month faced three criminal charges stemming from his removal of a political campaign sign from a property he manages on State Road 100, opposite the Target shopping center.


The case triggered an outcry, not least from Faulkner, his family and his lawyer, who termed the arrest and jail booking of the 63-year-old engineer an overreach by a sheriff’s deputy. The deputy contacted the political candidate about his sign—and erroneously assumed in his report that the sign was permitted to be on that property—but not the owner of the land Faulkner managers, to verify Faulkner’s claim. Chris Yates, the candidate for sheriff, admitted in an interview that he had not secured permission to place his sign on that property.

According to a sheriff’s spokesman, the deputy had called Yates after getting Yates’s phone number from Flagler County Dispatch (the 911 center). The spokesman said Yates had followed correct procedure.

Faulkner told the deputy that he routinely removed political signs from properties he manages, when their peddlers have not been given permission to place them there. Faulkner had a similar run-in with ex-Elections Supervisor of Elections Kimberle Weeks six years ago, at the same location, over a Weeks sign Faulkner removed. Weeks—who is under felony indictments in an unrelated case—accused Faulkner of grand theft. The charge, as in the more recent case, was eventually tossed.

But in both cases Faulkner had to contend with frivolous criminal charges against him, and with the permanence of a record in the court and jail system.

Following the arrest on May 27, which included a drunk driving charge—although Faulkner was not at the wheel of his vehicle when he was arrested, but merely approaching it—Faulkner hired attorney Josh Davis to handle the case. (The drunk driving charge was also dropped.) Davis was the attorney of record in the previous high-profile embarrassment for the sheriff, the false arrest of a young man on a criminal charge, because the deputy had mixed up with name with that of another person without carrying out the usual steps to ensure against a mis-identification.

Charlie Faulkner

Charlie Faulkner.

Davis then unleashed a barrage of motions—a common tactic by defense attorneys hoping to signal to the state attorney their intent to do battle to the smallest detail, in hopes of gaining an early dismissal of the case. Davis sought to suppress the original confessions by Faulkner at the scene, where Faulkner spoke of the sign in question and why he had removed it. Davis’ motion claimed the statements were obtained illegally (though based on the deputy’s arrest report, Faulkner, who knows his rights, had appeared to have provided them voluntarily).

On May 31, Davis filed a motion to dismiss the charges. He argued that the charging affidavit was vague, ambiguous, and unsupported by sworn testimony or fact, among other claims.

On Tuesday, the state attorney’s office in a filing with circuit court said it was dropping all three charges against Faulkner. Faulkner could not be reached Wednesday afternoon. Davis, however, provided a statement: “We are very pleased that the State Attorney’s Office made the correct decision. This is yet another instance in which the leadership at the FCSO has failed this community. As more facts become clear, a decision will be made about further legal action. Hopefully the people of this county will remember these blatant abuses of office come election time.”

Candidates for local office are required to complete a registration form with the clerk of court. As of June 3, according to an email from the clerk of court’s office, only five had done so (Tom Bexley, Don Fleming, Kimble Medley, Jerry O’Gara and Rick Staly). The clerk’s office subsequently corrected that tally, providing a spreadsheet showing that Abra Seay and Kaiti Lenhart had also done so by June 3. John Lamb did so on that date. The clerk includes a notice at the top of its web page on the matter: “Entering upon private property for the purpose of erecting a Political Sign without the consent of the property owner may constitute a trespass in violation of Section 810.09, Florida Statutes.”

Print Friendly

9 Responses for “All Charges Dropped Against Charlie Faulkner in Tendentious Arrest Over Political Sign Removal”

  1. YankeeExPat says:

    Faulkner blew a .094 and .090 in two breathalyzer tests, at the county jail, just over the state’s legal blood-alcohol limit of 0.08.

  2. Something is terribly wrong and the law is not being upheld says:

    How can someone blow over the legal limit twice and now the charges be dropped? An independent invesigation needs to be conducted of the States Attorney Office. You talk about a waste of our tax dollars….an office does his job and the States Attorney Office drops the charges after proof of intoxication is obtained not once, but twice!

  3. Charlie D says:

    Did he drive away after the encounter. If he did then he was dui. Hope we all have the same luck.

  4. Fraddy says:

    Another example of waste of tax payer’s dollars.

  5. Algernon says:

    Not sure about some of the legal hyperbole, but happy with the end result. Charlie Faulkner does manage his duties faithfully and works behind the scenes for better government in Flagler County.

  6. Retired law enforcement says:

    That’s funny I keep seeing all these ‘REELECT JIM MANFRE” signs throughout Palm Coast. I noticed he’s not on the list. Did MANFRE even register ? Is that another ‘ETHICS” violation or just an outright violation of the law?

    I said it before and I’ll say it again, if I ever get railroaded by the FCSO I will definatey give Davis a call.

  7. just me says:

    @Something is terribly wrong and the law is not being upheld says
    ” a drunk driving charge—although Faulkner was not at the wheel of his vehicle when he was arrested, but merely approaching it”

    How could one be charged with a crime that has NOT yet been committed??

  8. Gail Nasiatka says:

    I see Manfre signs up all over and his name is not mentioned above as to registering to put signs up.

    Candidates for local office are required to complete a registration form with the clerk of court. As of June 3, only five had done so (Tom Bexley, Don Fleming, Kimble Medley, Jerry O’Gara and Rick Staly). The clerk includes a notice at the top of its web page on the matter: “Entering upon private property for the purpose of erecting a Political Sign without the consent of the property owner may constitute a trespass in violation of Section 810.09, Florida Statutes.”

  9. Obama 2016 says:

    I would like to see all signs banned from public right areas. If you want a Trump sign in your yard fine but I don’t need to see huge signs on the public right a way and at every light because you want me to vote for him or her. If they want it on public tax payer land, they should pay to use the space with a permit and have a limit on size.

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