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To Keep Sally Sherman, a $136,000 Employee, Flagler County Is Paying Private Agency $190,000

| June 8, 2018

The deal-maker: Flagler County Administrator Craig Coffey prizes loyalty, and pays it back to his employees. (© FlaglerLive)

The deal-maker: Flagler County Administrator Craig Coffey prizes loyalty, and pays it back to employees. (© FlaglerLive)

Earlier this week FlaglerLive reported that Sally Sherman, Flagler County’s 59-year-old deputy administrator, had “retired” from the position she’d held for 10 years on Feb. 28, with a salary of $138,468, and returned the next day as a consultant, with a salary of $148,740, as an employee of a faith-based employment agency called JMI Staffing Solutions.

New details uncovered indicate that to retain Sherman as a worker in Flagler government, taxpayers are actually paying $190,000 a year: $148,740 as her salary, plus an additional $41,642 to the private company for making Sherman available as a “consultant” (since she’s barred by law from being a county employee).

On top of that, she gets $68,172 in annual retirement pay, bringing the total annual cost to taxpayers to $258,554 for the year.

If Sherman had stuck to her pledge to retire in accordance with state retirement rules, the cost to taxpayers would have been limited to her retirement check of $68,172. Contrary to claims that it is a wash for her to keep working, Flagler County is paying nearly $200,000 more to ensure that she still works here.

Her salary as a consultant was provided by a county spokesperson when asked in early May: “She is paid $71.51 per hour for a 40-hour work week,” or $148,740 for the year, a 7 percent increase from her salary when she was a county employee.

In fact, Flagler County government is paying JMI Staffing Solutions $190,382 for the year, according to documents obtained by FlaglerLive. County Administrator Craig Coffey signed that agreement with JMI three weeks before Sherman’s last day as a county employee, on Feb. 8. The agreement and its included raise never went before the County Commission.

The county has been paying JMI weekly increments of $3,661.20. County commissioners say they were aware of the arrangement with JMI, but not of the the detailed figures involved even though the commission approves warrants reflecting the payments at the commission’s bi-monthly meetings.

Flagler Commissioners Greg Hansen, left, and Dave Sullivan. (© FlaglerLive)

Flagler Commissioners Greg Hansen, left, and Dave Sullivan. (© FlaglerLive)

“This is a ridiculous situation we put ourselves in,” Flagler County Commissioner Dave Sullivan said Friday. “There’s no way you can explain to people on a $40,000 salary why a second in command is getting a $200,000 salary. Did I let it happen? Yes, I’m one of the guilty parties. But remember, the only two people that we control really are the county administrator and our lawyer, Al Hadeed. Everything else goes under the county administrator. We were foolish–I was foolish, I’m not going to speak for the other commissioners–I was foolish to let this happen. There should have been a better way to carry this out. Sally Sherman is an excellent employee but she’s not worth what we’re paying at this point, and we should have advertised and let the chips fall where they may.”

The county administration is not advertising the deputy county administrator’s position, seemingly leaving it vacant so Sherman can reclaim it when her year “out” is up. Coffey told some of the commissioners, including Commissioners Don O’Brien and Nate McLaughlin, that was the plan.

Commissioners approved the original contract with JMI at an August 1, 2016 meeting, when the contract was slipped onto the consent agenda as a one-page memo from Coffey, without back-up materials. The item reflected a “piggy-back” on a Manatee County contract with four firms, JMI being just one among them, and was described as providing “temporary employment services” and “may include assisting the county in recruitment/sourcing efforts for county hard to fill positions in departments.” It gave Coffey authority to conduct hirings through purchase orders.

Sherman’s plans were well known long before then. The plan to use JMI to return Sherman to work was not mentioned. (See the Manatee contract Flagler piggy-backed and commissioners approved here. It was provided to FlaglerLive Friday on request from the county, but contains no Flagler officials’ signatures.)

At the time, Commissioners Don O’Brien, Dave Sullivan and Greg Hansen had not yet been elected or appointed to the commission.

Sherman “retired” because she was in the Florida Retirement System’s Deferred Retirement Option program, which requires of all participants to retire from their government post after being in DROP four years, and bars returning to work in an FRS agency for at least a year. DROP was designed to give participants an incentive to retire by guaranteeing generous interest payments on four years’ worth of accrued retirement pay the participant can then claim upon retirement.

Sherman’s DROP payout was $330,148.

After revelations that thousands of employees were retiring only to return to work within weeks, the law was tightened in 2009, instituting the one-year requirement, expressly to prevent former employees from returning to the same job and “double-dipping” as they were drawing retirement benefits and the DROP incentive, while preventing younger workers from getting a chance to move up in the ranks.

In addition to the DROP payout, and her pay through JMI, Sherman is drawing $68,172 a year in retirement, by itself more than the overwhelming majority of rank-and-file salaries of government workers, cops, firefighters, teachers and the like.

Sherman is able to still work for Flagler, essentially doing much of what she was doing before but for a few cosmetic alterations, by being termed a “consultant” who works for JMI rather than for the county, thus enabling her and the county to skirt the law’s intent.

Prof. Joseph Little of the University of Florida's Levin College of Law has been teaching government, among other disciplines, for 50 years. (UF)

Prof. Joseph Little of the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law has been teaching government, among other disciplines, for 50 years. (UF)

“This would seem to be a gap in what the Legislature had in mind in creating the DROP program,” said Joseph Little, a retired professor of law at the University of Florida, who’s taught government for 50 years (and was in DROP himself). “Because obviously these people haven’t really dropped, they haven’t really retired, as what the DROP program was intended to do was to force senior people get out of the system and let other people come in, and plainly that’s not happening in this case.”

Sherman and Coffey defended the approach, saying she is a valuable, hard-working employee with a “skill set” the county is benefiting from, and that the method is commonly applied elsewhere, which is true.

But the cost to retain Sherman is vastly more than even commissioners knew when they were briefed on the arrangement several months ago. “I assumed it to be a wash in terms of her coming off the payroll and her coming on as a consultant,” Commissioner Don O’Brien said. “I didn’t know anything about the numbers.”

“I don’t know that she got a raise,” McLaughlin said. “We pay the consulting firm. I don’t know what they pay her.” The other commissioners were also not told of her raise.

The bi-weekly warrants state explicitly that the payments to JMI are for the senior special projects coordinator, Sherman’s ostensibly temporary title.

And commissioners in early May approved yet another potential increase to Sherman’s salary, to $155,000, if and when she returns as a deputy county administrator. Again, both McLaughlin and O’Brien said they were not aware that they had approved a raise for Sherman, only a salary range that ensured that Faith al-Khatib county engineer could be awarded that same rate of pay (she was).

After studying the documentation behind the numbers, O’Brien said the current sum the county is paying JMI appears to reflect the equivalent of base pay plus social security plus health care plus retirement benefits, each in roughly additional $10,000 increments, plus the profit-margin fee for the staffing company. But he had one concern: “It looks like they wrote this contract based on a salary of $148,000. I don’t know how we get from $138,000 to $148,000 without getting some clarification from Craig on that,” O’Brien said: the $10,000 pay raise for Sherman was never discussed with commissioners.

Public employees who participate in DROP do so on the understanding that they will not cost the government additional retirement benefits, other than the actual retirement check they’re drawing. By including a $10,000 increment in Sherman’s costs for further retirement benefits, that evades the purpose of DROP’s requirements as well. The exact details of her contract with JMI are not clear beyond the “fringe benefits” she is entitled to with the company.

But by any measure, taxpayers are footing an enormous bill in order to keep Sherman employed, and to “save” her spot as an assistant county administrator when her year outside the government system is over.

Payments to JMI for Sherman began in mid-March and have continued since, but those were not the first payments to JMI. The county contracted with JMI starting in late 2016, and last fiscal year paid the company a total of $83,088 for “staffing services” mostly at the Florida Agriculture Museum, with about $6,700 of that for staffing at Emergency Management.

Commissioners Nate McLaughlin, left, and Charlie Ericksen. (© FlaglerLive)

Commissioners Nate McLaughlin, left, and Charlie Ericksen. (© FlaglerLive)

Payments to JMI, according to its contract with the county, reflect “all costs to include salaries, office operation, transportation, equipment, overhead, general and administrative, incidental expenses, fringe benefits and operating margin.”

Coffey did not respond to text and phone messages Friday.

In a series of interviews with all five county commissioners between Thursday and Friday, three showed some level of discomfort with the Sherman arrangement–Sullivan, O’Brien and Ericksen–but only Sullivan went as far as saying that the arrangement should be ended.

Sullivan went on recent experience: He serves as the commission’s representative on the Northeast Florida Regional Council. He was at a council meeting this week, serving on its budget committee. The council’s chief executive is retiring. The organization’s administration put forth a proposal to look for a replacement internally first, then possibly hire a head-hunter and publicly announce the position. “We rejected that, said no, you can’t do that,” Sullivan said. “I said you have to show us what the salary range is, and you have to go out publicly, and you have to address the qualifications. So we turned down the staff proposal and went this way. That may or may not have anything to do with this, with Sally Sherman.”

He offered that analogy on Thursday. In a subsequent interview on Friday, he was more blunt about the Sherman arrangement. “I don’t see how in this part of the county with the population we have, how you can justify this other than say what was done was legal.”

Sullivan, who retired from the Navy, refuses to participate in the county’s health plan or in the Florida Retirement System, even though he is entitled to both as a commissioner, because he doesn’t want to double-dip.

“There’s no way you can justify this to the public. There’s no way,” Sullivan said. “The only solution here would be for Sally to resign. That’s the only solution.”

None of the commissioners questioned Sherman’s work ethic. To the contrary: they all praised her hard-working habits and two spoke of her being the first in and last out at the Government Services Building, at least among administrators.

Sally Sherman. (© FlaglerLive)

Sally Sherman. (© FlaglerLive)

O’Brien defended the county administrator’s authority to administer without interference from the commission. “He gets to choose who he wants to have work for him or help him, so that’s not my call to make,” O’Brien said. “I hold him accountable and if he’s not getting the results then he has to answer for it, but as to who he employs or who he hires, that’s not my job.”

But he addressed the principle behind the arrangement such as Sherman’s–without naming her specifically, but looking at the state as a whole–much more critically. “I don’t like it,” O’Brien said. “A lot of people around the state don’t like it because it suppresses upward mobility of younger employees that are looking for advancement, because these jobs get stymied because people don’t retire or they come back into the system, and it’s not right. But it happens all over the state of Florida. There’s a bunch of employees in Flagler County that are in the same situation that Sally is.”

True, but those employees have actually stayed the required year out of the system before returning. Sherman has not.

“I’m not going to throw the man under the bus because he did something that’s legal, it’s acceptable, it’s done all around the state,” O’Brien said. “If it’s legal it’s acceptable.”

McLaughlin and Hansen vetted the issue through Al Hadeed, the county attorney. “My understanding is that these arrangements are common,” he said today, and told them as much.

To McLaughlin, that made the matter moot. “This is completely within the law, it’s completely within the intent of the legislature, the legislative intent, I think so, because if it wasn’t I think our attorney would have said,” McLaughlin said. (Hadeed in the interview did not seek to interpret legislative intent.) McLaughlin said he did not consider it double-dipping, and saw Coffey as an administrator who can “stretch a dollar.” The arrangement with Sherman is a matter of being competitive to retain a valued employee.

Commission Chairman Greg Hansen defended Coffey, who he said was “doing a darn good job of running the county, so I support what he did.”

Coffey, Hansen said, “wanted to keep the management team in place and that’s what he did to do it. If that violates the spirit and the intent of the law, then I guess it does, I don’t know.” He said he was briefed on the arrangement by Coffey as were other commissioners, and gave his support back then.

Commissioner Charlie Ericksen recalls Coffey’s interest in temporary agencies but not the specifics of the Sherman arrangement. “Generally we don’t get asked about any hiring things until he’s ready to do it, like when he hired the new emergency management guy, he had to bring that to us,” Ericksen said. “But anything other than that I don’t recall ever seeing.” He’s caught up on the Sherman matter since, and was uncomfortable with how much of it was done without public vetting.

“I would have preferred that it’d be in the open if in fact it was going to occur, not to give the impression that something is funny about this,” Ericksen said. “It caught fairly big headlines. If in fact it wasn’t a way to quote get around something, then why didn’t we just say this is what we’re doing? I can’t think of a person who works any harder than Sally Sherman, who I think drives 40-50 miles every day to get here, she’s the first person in that building and the last person to leave the building. If it’s something that’s legal, why do you have to do it sort of out of the sunshine?”

Ericksen said he saw the situation as double-dipping, but legally so, because the law hasn’t closed the loophole. “Everything’s got rules but people still play with them and massage them,” he said. “Every time there’s a rule, now the people start thinking how do we get around the rule. On the other side the law is the law, the law was intended to do something and if you do something other than that, then it’s not right.” Speaking of Flagler government, he noted: “I’ve never seen a business that’s had as many six figures in it for so few a population.”

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68 Responses for “To Keep Sally Sherman, a $136,000 Employee, Flagler County Is Paying Private Agency $190,000”

  1. Ben Hogarth says:

    It’s plainly obvious this Commission does not represent the will of the people. Irrespective of legality, at some point we have to consider ethics and wise use of public funds. The entirety of this public spending goes against both.

    It does not appear any change or mandate for change will come from the Commissioners. I am now formally endorsing and recommending the people of Flagler vote out every incumbent and choose a new series of candidates who won’t simply fall in line with the “good ole boy” system. Their era is at an end.

    I’d also like to remind Flagler residents that is within their power to also not have to wait for an election, but rather they can recall any candidate. Get with respective party leaders, start a recall petition for those not up for election this year, and work together on getting candidates who are both trustworthy and desire change.

    Otherwise, prepare for many more hard and difficult, troubled years for the people of Flagler.

    If the people do not act, they have earned their plight. Outspoken people in the community can do no more if others fail to act.

  2. puts on hipwaders says:

    you have to be kidding us! This sounds fishy to me! Who’s getting the kickbacks???? the BS is really deep on this one!!!!

  3. Nancy N. says:

    Mr. O’Brien should remember while he’s defending Mr. Coffey’s “right” to hire who he pleases that the voters also have the right to hire who they please.

    Just because something is quasi-legal and can be gotten away with doesn’t mean it should be done.

  4. Verbal Dragon says:

    Lord have mercy what did I do wrong? 40 years with FDOT and my retirement is 3k/month before taxes. My drop payout was no where near this. Guess I should have sold my soul to the consulting industry.

  5. Fact’s says:

    I do not see a problem with keeping a value employee. But who said it will be long term? I would hope that the county will look for a suitable replacement now at a rate conducive for a non senior employee.

  6. Denise Calderwood says:

    Voters please wake up and elect Commissioners who are not afraid or intimidated or just being political. It is way past time for the Craig Coffey /Sally Sherman show to just end. Put a stop to this nonsense. It is costing our taxpayers too much money. Joe Mayer our Human Resources Director will be the next one to get a golden parachute from JMI. How faith based is this organization. And I bet you Joe and Sally are the ones who recommended the JMI contract. To me that used to be called a conflict of interest or at least an ethical issue. FlaglerLive can you find out the specifics about JMI because this whole issue stinks. Sally Sherman even has a program named after her….and she doesn’t even live in this county! Are we paying her mileage too? And for the Special Projects Coordinator that has been a revolving door. The position was originally created to groom Future Leaders interested in becoming County Administrators just like Beau Falgut has done with the City of Palm Coast. To quote NIKE, Commissioners “just do it” already and get rid of Craig Coffey. Our county would be better off for it!

  7. john brady says:

    Republicans,please act like republicans. This Sherman Coffey team screwed up the Sheriff building. They got to go. As I tell the PC Council you are the supervisors, please act as supervisors

  8. john brady says:

    Republicans please act like republican business people. You are the supervisor, act like supervisors. If you need help I can educate you

  9. tulip says:

    Geesh, I thought the first story about Sherman was disgusting, now it’s even worse!!! Sherman’s work ethics may be top notch but her and Coffey’s behind the scenes deliberate planning this scheme together, not giving a rat’s tail about taxpayers paying for this is greedy and unethical. Three people who have posted so far have made some right on the mark comments, and people need to pay attention to what’s really been happening in the past couple of years in Flagler County.

  10. hawkeye says:

    she should be fired,NOW, she doesnt do much of anything ,anyhow.What a waste of our taxpayers dollars.

  11. Fiscal says:

    Go on to the JMI site. Pathetic content to say the least! NO jobs are posted from Pam Coast, much less Flagler County, so why would this “employment “ firm be needed to be retained?

    You retain a company when the NEED arises, NOT in anticipation of the need. Besides, the jobs posted are all LOW level entry jobs, NONE that warrant any consultant!

    Post job openings on the County website,, etc…Lots more efficient and CHEAPER than this.

    I sense that there is more to this story than what is out there.

  12. Stan says:

    What a joke! If you don’t need her now in Palm Coast,get rid of this consultant position!!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Representative Renner needs to call for an audit like he did on Mosquito Control. With commissioner’s asleep at the wheel there is no telling where or on what our money has been going on knowing Coffey hasn’t been giving them back up materials and slipping things through the consent agenda. Who ever got the audit on the Mosquito Control please contact Mr. Renner and get one on the county! Our taxes are going to go so high we aren’t going to be able to afford to live here if we don’t do something to stop this crazy stuff from happening.

  14. Realist says:

    People need to go to jail over this. It is so outrageous that I am furious. The corruption in Flagler County is getting worse every year.

  15. Richard says:

    Swamp People are not restricted to just the Federal Government in Washington DC. Actually they are “trained” on how to be Swamp People at the local and state levels.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Looks like several people need to be removed from their positions….this isnt the only case either. Several employees have done this exact maneuver and came back with a much higher salary after taking a year off. This is common practice.

  17. Julian Bergman says:

    I talked with Sally Sherman several times over building regulations. To be to the point this woman has no knowledge whatsoever to make her worth even $50000/year. This is an insult to all taxpayers. Mr. Coffey should be terminated for entering into a deal like this. Perfect example of stealing from the government.

  18. Lnzchaf says:

    Time for the people
    to rebel
    Fire all of them

  19. Mark101 says:

    “” Coffey prizes loyalty, and pays it back to employees.”, But Coffey disrespects the citizens and taxpayers of Flagler County. His mismanagement of funds to suit his own means is obvious by this demonstration of his loyalty. There is NO due diligence in any matter Coffey addresses, its lip service to the taxpayers, broken promises all while he lines his pockets and builds his own ego.

    The Commissioners of Flagler County need to do whats right and remove Coffey from office. A person with this much power over the Commissioners needs to be an ELECTED OFFICIAL, not a hired hand by the Commissioners.

    The time has come to bring back the loyalty to the TAXPAYERS by the Commission and the County Administrator. Lets make it happen voters.

  20. Paul says:

    JMI staffing based out of Tampa Is clearly a temporary service agency for service industries that need a cheap labor force and not pay benefits to employees. These are the companies they serve according to their website:

    Our Staffing Solutions include but are not limited to:
    Call Centers
    Cleaning Service
    Food Processors
    Forklift Operators
    General Laborers
    Machine Operators
    QC Inspectors

    Perhaps we can add this abuse of our taxpayers money to a list of Mr. Coffey’s ( and MClaughlin) ‘accomplishments’ and send him on the next Missionary assignment JMI provides from their company profits. Whether this was legal is questionable but it is clearly unethical.

    Does driving a distance to work and showing up early and leaving late really equate to being indispensable and paying someone paying $190,000 a year: $148,740 as her salary, plus an additional $41,642 to the private company for making Sherman available as a “consultant” (since she’s barred by law from being a county employee).

    Mr, Hansen is clearly out of touch if he believes Mr. Coffey is performing his duties ( doing a darn good job…) as County Administrator in the best interest of the taxpayers.

  21. Just the facts says:

    Bottom line, Coffey gets his way, the taxpayers get screwed. The commissioners hem and haw but do nothing.

  22. atilla says:

    Shouldn’t this be investigated by state or federal officials to determine if this robbery of our tax dollars is legal. It sounds like a story for NCIS or crime stoppers.

  23. thomas says:

    Coffee must well as Hadeed, McLaughlin, O’Brien, and Hansen must go. Send Sherman back to retirement.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Sherman should have been required to live in Flagler County. That is her problem if she has to drive 40-50 minutes to work and comes early and stays late. I am sorry, but this does not qualify some one to be paid this outrageous rate of pay!. Because she doesn’t live in Flagler County means she doesn’t care about this county….she is just here to get rich!

    A forensic audit needs to be done on this county.. There is no telling what the commissioners have approved that they didn’t even know they approved because Coffey doesn’t provide back up material and isn’t transparent. When we have news of website work being so expensive, Dunn and the Spartan competition giving tax dollars away, the old hospital purchase and now this Sherman news a forensic audit and external investigation is certainly warranted. I agree, Coffey and Hadeed need to be fired, and each county commissioner needs to be removed from office. They have a responsibility to us and they have failed us!

  25. Can't believe it says:

    FIRST: inundate the commissioners to reverse this decision, post Sherman’s job, and get rid of Coffey.
    SECOND: Vote out the commissioners who don’t.
    Every time the citizens and residents need or want something, the answer is invariably “there is no money”. Well, this is one example of why. The Board of County Commissioners are responsible. They had the opportunity recently to “non-renew” Coffey’s contract and failed to do so. Now it’s time to “non-renew” their contracts, so to speak….

  26. Fredrick says:

    Coffee did not respond? Imagine that.

  27. John Kent says:

    Unfortunately our indignation is not helping much. Wonder if there are ways of removing those people from office while bypassing our useless “representatives”? Like a petition or some FB page? If a knowledgeable person could make suggestion we might change things around here.

  28. Stretchem says:

    “If it’s legal it’s acceptable.”

    Kinda sums up our state of the union lately, huh?

  29. Concerned says:

    WOW what good use of MY money
    I will do everything I can to Vote you all out

  30. Reed says:

    When is enough going to be enough with Coffey. He continues to play with impunity and seemingly plays Commissioners to suit his own purposes and the $$ purposes of his cronies. Mr. Coffey has lost the trust of the public in his endless deal making. It is time to say good bye to Mr. Coffey or drain the Commissioner swamp of elected officials who continue to place trust in a county administrator undeserving of that trust. You can also look at the recent debacle of relocating the Sheriff’s Office. One bad decision followed by more bad decisions.
    Please help me understand how Mr. Coffey’s continued tenure has any public benefit he apparently chooses to dis-serve? Probably thinks he will receive a BIG $$$$$$ payout when he allegedly retires from public dis-service. Our eyes are on each Commissioner!

  31. Anonymous says:

    No worries, the taxpayers have more money.

  32. Fiscal says:

    Not one Commissioner has run a real business or has real life experience. All are retired old guys. NOT GOOD for the taxpayers!
    Coffey has NO experience in any market.

    I suspect that there may be a future connection for him, should they squeeze him out

  33. Monkey Grip says:

    This stinks and everybody knows it is crooked. It could be the toe hold for a strong surge for the Democrats if they handle it correctly. Time to sweep out the incumbents.

  34. Cindy says:

    Double dipping at our expense!!!! This is disgusting and all will be voted out. Coffey should be ASHAMED!!!

  35. Anonymous says:

    Why don’t. We invest in things to
    Do for the kids in this god
    For saking town .
    Than wastin money on bullshit.
    Palmcoast SUCKS DEAD ASS CITY.
    Wasteful spending on crap
    They would laugh u out town up
    North and slap you at the same time.

  36. Pogp says:

    @This crap goes back 20 years to crooked jeb and privatizing everything he could get his claws in

    Jeb and the Republican cannibals did away with the state’s employment service – and temp agencies sprouted like weeds in the law of the jungle world of Floriduh.

    Jesus Christ – being a “right to work” state wasn’t enough for the pricks that own everything – they’ve converted most of the workforce of Floriduh to rent-a-bums. The people being screwed know they’re being screwed and act like it. The people screwing them say they deserve it and keep on screwing them – and they’ve got the fact that their victims keep electing them to prove they’re right. In the meantime they’ve also created a system of shells and straw men to bury all manner of discrimination; favoritism, nepotism, and corruption.

    Republicans don’t drain swamps – they are the swamp.

  37. Dave says:

    Its ok to bend the law and have bad ethics, just dont break the law, welcome to palm coast, this is America

  38. JimBob says:

    Another “faith based” entity bleeding the beast. What can you expect when your representative’s sole response is “If it’s legal it’s acceptable.”

  39. Jane Gentile-Youd says:

    Kudos to Commissioner Dave Sullivan. He wasn’t on the commission when this ambiguous contract was among the other 20 or so overloaded Consent Agenda items.

    No ‘ 6 figure’ expenditure of ANY KIND, should ever be allowed to be approved by other than a MAJORITY of the commissioners and heard as an individual agenda item which includes full public participation.
    It is reprehensible that our county administrator has not been limited to a maximum dollar amount expenditure on any issue. Maybe because in the 101 year history of Flagler County there has never been the need to do so as there is no.

    Next commission meeting I hope to see such a limit be placed on the agenda, retroactive back to January 1,st………
    Let’s see who starts running scared….

  40. Ticked off says:

    She and others who allowed this should be living at the Green Roof Inn. This is a crime!!!!!

  41. Poor retiree says:

    Let me outta here. Can’t afford this town any longer.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Amazing how her JOB was worth 138,468 one day then the next its 190,000 and NONE of the County commissioners knew of this BS???? vote them ALL OUT. 50 THOUSAND more for that ONE position and SHE and Coffy gave the rank and file workers PENNY’S for a raise the past year and NO raises for years.

  43. Concerned Citizen says:

    Firstly and this is directed towards our Board of County Commissioners. Feigning ignorance at your level of leadership and responsibility does not cut it. Nor does it absolve you of any responsibility of this clearly unethical and possibly illegal act.

    You only pretend to be ignorant because Flagler Live caught wind of it and is informing the public. Suck it up admit it and correct the error. Both Sherman and Coffey are dead weights to this County and clearly have the BOCC cowed.

    Secondly I’d like to know when these decisions were made and if any were made in accordance with Sunshine laws. Sounds like to me a lot of closed door shenanigans were going on the media is catching wind of it and bringing it to light. I think an investigation by the State Attorney’s office and FDLE is in order. Maybe the FBI should be brought in as well.

    Finally we will remember this at election time and not forget all of the other hard working county Employees who are over due for raises. We also won’t forget at election time how Coffey and Sherman has managed to rail road other County Employees to the point of leaving and working somewhere else.

    Folks we can lament all we want on Flagler Live. However the change starts with us at the polls. Election time is our best bet of getting a Board of Commissioners who isn’t cowardly and who will represent our best interests. A new BOCC might have the guts to stand up to Coffey and fire him and Sherman and get us some new leadership.

    I hope Flagler Live will keep pushing this issue until Ethics Complaints and possible Criminal Investigations are forthcoming.

  44. Johnny C says:

    CORRUPTION! Time to revolt!

  45. palmcoaster says:

    O’Brien defending Coffey! Birds of a feather…Did the county attorney also approve this? O’Brien, McLahghin
    and Ericksen need to be voted out and Coffee, Hadeed, Murphy and Dunn booted.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Coffey sucks as an administrator and businessman—-FIRE HIM!!!

  47. t says:

    Goodbye don’t need you

  48. Daphne says:

    Just because it is “legal” does NOT mean it is right! This is beyond outrageous. She needs to step down, go live on her obscenely high retirement wages and let some new blood into the mix. With new blood comes new ideas! That doesn’t mean it hasn’t to be someone young, but skirting the double dipping laws and going ahead to double dip is so morally wrong! How can she look herself in her solid gold, diamond studded mirror!? VOTE these thieves OUT!

  49. Paul says:

    April 12, 2018 it is reported the Board unanimously rubber stamps at the request of Coffey the requirement of the three year renewal requirements for the base pay for Coffey $158,787, and Attorney Hadeed’s $209,643 for their current contract set to expire Feb. 2019.

    Coffey gets an open-ended contract at his own request and board approval. Now the Board can only remove Coffey for misdeeds, violation of law, etc….. the abuse of public trust just goes on and on……….

    We need new leadership and the forensic audit.

  50. JB says:

    The Sheriff, Undersheriff, Chief Strobridge, and Chief Weber need to learn from Commissioner Sullivan example. Those good I’m boys are all retired from FRS (Weber from New York) but still receive retirement contributions from the Sheriff budget, of at least 21% of their gross salary , into a 401(a). Big time double dippers.

  51. Bob Banks says:

    I am speechless. Nothing that anyone does in that position is worth $70.00 an hour. Flagler County CNA’s do real dirty work and loving Work for $12.00 an hour. Peoples lives in their hands. Bus drivers: peoples lives in their hands. )12.00 an hour. Be comfortable makin speeches. Double talk. Wear nice clothes. Have a degree in B.S.boom: you got a job in Flagler County Government making 3 figures. How can we really have faith in our system? This story is really disgusting.

  52. Change leadership in flagler says:

    This is a prime example of why we need a leadership change in this county. These sweetheart deals have to go. Just because they say it’s legal doesn’t make it morally right. Coffey needs to go and we need to NOT RE-ELECT ANY OF THESE I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT WAS GOING ON COMMISSIONERS.

  53. Paul says:

    Our County government at it’s finest…. Board approves open-ended contracts for Coffey and Hadeed….

    April 12, 2018 it is reported the Board unanimously rubber stamps at the request of Coffey the requirement of the three year renewal contract requirements for the base pay for Coffey $158,787, and Attorney Hadeed’s $209,643 for their current contract set to expire Feb. 2019.

    Coffey gets an open-ended contract at his own request and board approval. Now the Board can only remove Coffey for misdeeds, violation of law, etc….. the abuse of public trust just goes on and on……….

    We need new leadership and the forensic audit.
    Click here to

  54. Flagler County Citizen says:

    I’m curious to know if her $138,468 salary that is listed here includes all labor costs. Can we compare what the total labor costs were for Sherman to what the county will be footing out for the consulting firm (including the proposed salary)?

  55. says:

    $2860.40 is the amount Mustang Sally will be banking at the end of this week. I would bet that she doesn’t mind in the least getting up to go to work this morning! On a side note it would be very, very interesting if Flaglerlive were to find out for the hard working tax payers of Flagler County just how much double dipping all of the entities ( BOCC, School district, Sheriffs office, etc…) have working for them! I think the public would be outraged! It is done so much that it has become the NORM for many and the poor people trying to get careers or are trying to move up have to wait until the retired go and really retire after their second stint. Totally Legal but Not Fair!

  56. Flagler County Citizen says:

    Just to add on, if an employer pays 18 to 26 percent more for your salary for labor costs, then the county was paying out between $163,392 and $174, 469 to have Ms. Sherman work as a regular employee. That doesn’t necessarily include business supplies and other line item administrative costs used in conjunction with her performance of her duties for the county. I wouldn’t imagine those things costing $20,000 a year, but the amount might not seem so jaw dropping considering.

    And, if for four years she was in the DROP period, that means the county wasn’t contributing to her retirement plan, right? Her retirement payments were going to the fund. So the DROP payment was self-funded, although it earned the FRS interest.

    Sorry, I’m just trying to wrap my head around this and find some way that this move might have been advantageous.

  57. GT says:

    Election day is coming boys kiss your jobs good bye! I thought I had heard it all when they spent hundreds of thousands of our dollars to find out why Florida Park Drive had a lot of traffic or the proposal to put big letters on the 95 bridge spelling out PALM COAST but this just sent it over the edge. To pay this person more than 50-60 K a year is a bad joke. Wake up Palm Coast and vote these people out!

  58. Paul says:

    Per comment request as to the ‘fee’s” to JMI in Tampa…

    $148,740 as her salary, plus an additional $41,642 to the private company for making Sherman available as a “consultant” (since she’s barred by law from being a county employee).

  59. Paul McGuinnes says:

    April 12, 2018 Coffey gets an open-ended contract at his own request and board approval. Now the Board can only remove Coffey for misdeeds, violation of law, etc….. the abuse of public trust just goes on and on……….We need new leadership and the forensic audit.

    The Commisoners unanimously rubber stamp at the request of Coffey to eliminate the requirement of the three year contract for Coffey @ $158,787, and Attorney Hadeed’s $209,643 for their current contract set to expire Feb. 2019.

    This certainly falls under the breach of public trust and cause for termination.

  60. Flagler County Citizen says:

    Yes, but her salary of $138,648 wasn’t the total labor cost the county paid ou for her employment. I wasn’t talking about JMI fees, I was talking about the total cost to employ Sherman vs. what we know they will pay the consulting firm.

  61. Anonymous says:

    What was and what is Craig Coffey and Sally Sherman’s job descriptions? Are services being duplicated? Is Sally Sherman really not a consultant, she has a new job title; if she was a consultant she would be consulting on the job she had before retirement, not doing something new. If the position has been vacant since her retirement several months ago, I would say the position needs to be eliminated!

  62. Anonymous says:

    Oh be quiet, you all keep n voting these fools into office. Nate and George are the only two that have half a brain to ask questions, challenge some of these high end purchases.
    Quit your complaining and dp something about it !
    I don’t see anyone making noise about the FCSO salaries.

  63. Lena Marshall says:

    Don’t be haters, she is a awesome employee!!
    She is worth it !

  64. Anonymous says:

    Lena Marshal that’s Bull….! Most of the state offices don’t pay that much. This county has just a little over 100,000 in population. Reality Check is needed badly. Every time Coffey and Sherman do anything there seems to be a slick, slimy, secretive, crooked side to it. The Spartan event, the sheriffs new operation center, the tourist website and the other 3 million spent on websites, the airport projects over the years, the Bings landing restaurant renovated and rented at give away prices, and now this milking of our taxpayer dollars over Sally Sherman just to name a few instances. How much more has been slipped past us in consent agendas that the commission did not question. Fire Coffey and Sherman now!!!! They are milking the taxpayers broke. Flagler County should become known as the Dairy County where the Flagler County government does all the milking-of the Taxpayers that is!!

  65. W. Lowe says:

    Palm Coast Mayors and Congress People are out of control with the money they making and spending
    on unnessary things. This use to be a nice place to live.. These people are out of control and need to be
    voted out,. Vote Republican this year Democrates are out of control!!!!!!

  66. W. Lowe says:

    This is total BS No one in Flagler County deserves to make this much money.
    Tired of you spending taxpayers dollars in this county
    This was suppose to be a retirement community. Did you forget that.
    Stop wasting our money. We should have a right to vote on anything you want
    to spend our hard earned money. Are you all democraps?>?>?
    Voters please vote these crooked people out of office!!!

  67. Tammi says:

    I do not understand how the commissioners can say they didn’t notice anything. First there was a rate increase. That should have been first addressed. Second they see Sally walking around the office? If she retired she wouldn’t be walking around the office. Third Mr Erickson says she drives one way 40-50 miles and is a good employee. Guess what, if we all made the money she did we would drive 40-50 miles one way. That does not make her a good employee. Also, why are we paying an out of town employee the kind of money she is making anyways. If she lived in town she might spend the money here and help the County.
    Yes, this all does fall on Mr Coffey. He is the one that knew what was going on and he is the one that needs to be fired. So stop making excuses for the man. If it was any other business it would be done and that is the problem with the County, they do not run as a business.

  68. county worker says:

    Just curious, is she still working there? Or was anything done to change this ‘double dipping’? The article is great, it would be sad if nothing was done about it and the county is still allowing this extra loss of taxpayer dollars to continue. That said, who else in the county upper administration is next in line for the same deal?

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