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

Cuts Into Sheriff Building’s Structure Point to Alarming Issues, Including Bat Droppings and “Substantial Moisture”

| January 4, 2019

A sample of insulation pulled today at the Sheriff's Operations Center points to old insulation that remained from the building's uses in the 1980s and 90s, and what appears to be bat droppings. (FCSO)

A sample of insulation pulled today at the Sheriff’s Operations Center points to old insulation that remained from the building’s uses in the 1980s and 90s, and what appears to be bat droppings. (FCSO)

Last Updated: Saturday, 8:25 a.m.

Long-awaited cuts into walls and into sections of flooring took place at the troubled Sheriff’s Operations Center in Bunnell all day Thursday and today in the presence of sheriff’s, union and county officials. More testing will continue for at least a day.

The preliminary results from about thirty cuts into walls and more floor cuts are concerning to sheriff’s officials and their employees: old wood and old insulation they’d been told had been removed at the time of the building’s reconstruction in 2013 and 2014, the apparent presence of bat droppings not only where there’d been a known infestation in the past, but in an area of the building not known to have been infested–and significant moisture everywhere floor tiles and carpeting was cut out.

County Administrator Craig Coffey has so far largely downplayed serious issues with the building. He did not directly respond to a text this evening, but forwarded a summary of the findings written by County Attorney Al Hadeed to county commissioners shortly before 7 p.m. (An earlier version of this story incorrectly mistook the email to commissioners as Coffey’s. Yet at 8 p.m., Julie Murphy, the county’s spokesperson, emailed the same letter to local media as a “statement” from Coffey.) Hadeed described the floor moisture as “an area of greater concern,” and used more distressed language than county administration officials have used previously in that email.

“Substantial moisture was found,” Hadeed wrote. “It is not certain whether the moisture was from water being whisked into the slab from outside runoff or welling up from below the foundation or another source. The wall cavities are completely dry. The expert team from Terracon will be assessing this and are preparing a supplemental protocol for this purpose. This is the most disturbing finding of the visitation and must be followed closely.”

Click On:

Terracon Consultants Inc. is the company the county hired to conduct this round of testing.

Centers for Disease Control scientists who had visited the building last fall to investigate why more than two dozen sheriff’s employees had developed health issues while working in the building–and why the building was evacuated in June–had warned of just such a possibility, saying their observations pointed to water intrusion. The two days of testing appear to have substantiated the fear.

“It’s got to be tested yet, but I think that what has been found is that there is a serious moisture issue in the building under carpet, under tiles,” Sheriff Rick Staly said less than an hour after the building was vacated this evening, “and where there’s moisture there’s generally mold. But I think it goes beyond mold. Now, I’m not a building expert and I’m not a scientist, but when you leave old, nasty insulation in a building and cover it up, that’s been exposed for many many years after the building was abandoned, it’s a serious problem.”

The building had been the old Memorial Hospital until 2002, when the hospital moved and the building was sold to a team of local investors. The property remained fallow and in disrepair until Flagler County government bought it in 2013 to recast it as a Sheriff’s Operations Center. Between 60 and 70 employees, including the sheriff’s administration, detectives, evidence and other key personnel, work in the building.

In late 2017 four employees moved out of the building because of health issues traced to mold problems in two rooms. The health problems did not resolve when they returned to the building, but rather spread to other employees. The building was evacuated in June. Since then the sheriff and employees asked the county–the landlord and owner of the building–to cut into walls and examine the structure. The county worked out an agreement to do so last month, leading sheriff’s and other officials to accuse the county administration of purposefully stalling.

The county claims it was following a workers’ compensation administrative judge’s direction in an Aug. 30 “preservation” order “to preserve the premises for a reasonable time.” The order did not name the county. The administrative judge on Dec. 21 vacated the preservation order and approved further inspections.

“We were not delaying this work,” Hadeed said in a long email written after midnight, explaining and justifying the county’s approach on testing. Referring to the administrative law judge’s orders, he said “You will discern that the reason County destructive testing was delayed was to allow the claimants to conduct their testing in the most native condition of the building, before we altered it.”

Staly, Coffey and Gabe Fuentes, senior vice president of the Coastal Florida Police Benevolent Association, agreed to protocols controlling how and when the testing and cuts into the Operations Center’s structure would take place, and who would be present. (See the protocol here, as provided by Strobridge. Hadeed subsequently provided the executed protocol, which does not differ in substance, with the exhibit showing where the cuts were to take place.)

County Engineer Faith al-Khatib and her assistant, Richard Gordon, took part, as did two engineers from Terracon Consultants (James Saizan and John O’Reilly), Fuentes and Sgt. Joe Barile, representing the PBA, Staly and Chief Mark Strobridge, and a handful of other designees. Hadeed was also present. (“We needed someone with authority to make any protocol related decisions or to address scope questions and importantly to keep the process moving to conclusion,” he said. But he’d also initially been reluctant to be so assigned.) Coffey was not at the site. Staly was there periodically, but Strobridge spent both days in the building. Today, the team was joined by newly-elected County Commissioner Joe Mullins, Coffey’s harshest critic. (Both Mullins and Fuentes said they developed skin rashes after their time in the building yesterday and today.)

“I think this has vindicated myself and the employees,” Staly said of the last two days’ revelations.

Staly, Strobridge, Fuentes and Mullins, in separate interviews after they left the building this evening, each concurred that one of their more disturbing take-away from the past two days was the finding that there was age-old insulation and unsealed wood left over from the building’s previous incarnation.

Old insulation. (CPBA) sheriff's operations

Old insulation. (CPBA)

“In many of the cuts today what we saw was old, yellow insulation and pink, newer insulation, old wood and some new wood, more recent,” Strobridge said. “In other words what we had been told all along was there was nothing left over from that prior building. What we learned today was they reused insulation or didn’t disturb the old insulation, and they reused some of the wood that may not have been rotted. But all along we were told, it’s all brand new, it’s all brand new, it’s all brand new.”

Mullins said just before Christmas he met with Coffey, Staly and Strobridge, and was assured at that meeting, by Coffey, that the old wood had all been removed. (He did not ask about the insulation, assuming that it would have been removed as well, he said.) Mullins, a builder, recognized the old wood when he took pictures and video of his own during his inspection. “One of the pictures, you can tell it’s a 1970 sawmill cutting, it’s the typical look you have with that wood, from the 1970s. That concerned me.”

“What concerns me with all this was the statement that it was replaced, and that makes you start to worry about what was covered up,” Mullins said. “My concern is the deception.”

Hadeed’s email acknowledged the presence of insulation and wood from the older building’s hospital era, an acknowledgement that, by having to be made, suggests others were under a different impression, and that the revelation warranted explanation: “Some of the cutouts at the roof level showed old and new wood,” Hadeed wrote. “The old wood was found to be sound and dry. Some samples were tested with a moisture probe and the old wood tested as drier than the new wood. This wood was not part of the rotten wood to be replaced in the building construction specifications. Please note that any bad wood was to be removed as part of the construction project.”

Regarding insulation, Hadeed continued: “Also, older insulation was found under newer insulation in certain areas near the roof level. The building specs called for retaining the older insulation and adding the new insulation on top of it. Samples of the older insulation were taken and are to be tested. The insulation was found in sealed cavities. In one of those samples, in one corner of the building, the consultant found a small amount of material that appeared to be bat guano. The material will be sampled and tested to confirm its origin. The site was not in the area where bats were residing at the time of construction.”

But in a letter to commissioners on Dec. 20 (it was incorrectly dated 2019 in its original), Coffey had explicitly stated that no old insulation or old wood from the old structure had remained: “The building was gutted and replaced almost in its entirety,” he wrote. “This included flooring, structural bracing, roofing membrane, sheetrock/walls, insulation, ceiling, outside sheeting, electrical plumbing, HVAC (heating ventilation, and air conditioning), etc. The only things left were the concrete slab, structural steel framing, masonry walls, and the roof system. No expense was spared, and for all practical purposes, it was essentially a new building…. To say or indicate shoddy construction occurred is not supported by any evidence and unnecessarily and unfairly smears the reputation of every professional and business who worked on the building.”

Clearly, today’s and yesterday’s findings reveal, it was not “essentially a new building,” and suggest the possibility of shoddy construction is not a “smear,” but another avenue to be investigated.

Samples are to be analyzed by “EMLS or EMlab P&K laboratories,” according to the protocol.

“Obviously all that stuff is alarming to us,” Fuentes, the union leader, said. “It was our impression everything was new, and everything was brought down to the block basically, and it does not appear to be so.”

The problems within the building have been only half the issue. The other half is the political and perception problems Coffey’s handling of the building, as its landlord, has generated. The sheriff and his employees now so mistrust him that the sheriff is no longer on speaking terms with him, and the employees have called for his firing (as have two of the county’s largest public sector unions: teachers and firefighters.) Coffey’s explanation to commissioners by way of Hadeed aside, the perception that the building was dissimulating old wood and insulation thought to have been removed, even if innocuous in itself (and that’s still an untested “if”) would further damage relations between the two sides and lead to speculation of literal “cover-up.”

That’s before the potentially more serious problem of bat guano and almost certainly ore serious problem of water seepage are brought into the equation.

More notable than the discovery of bat droppings was their location: the building previously had been known to have had a bat infestation, but on its west side. What appears to be droppings today were discovered on the south side, pointing to a broader problem.

carpeting sheriff's operations

Beneath the carpeting. Click on the image for larger view. (CPBA)

Still, no moisture was found in the walls or on the old wood. That was not the case below foot: everywhere that was cut into, whether from 24-inch squares of carpeting or from floor tiles, revealed so much moisture beneath that in some cases the glue was barely functional anymore, Strobridge said. “Basically every sample area they pulled up across the building was wet,” he said, “and I’m not talking about a little damp. I could visually see moisture, and I could also visually see–again, I’m not a chemist–what appears to be mold.”

Mullins said everything he saw is reparable (including the sealing of old wood), but the cost and time it would take for such repairs would be substantial, and repairs don’t mend other issues: “The variable here that concerns me is the bat infestation. Why would you keep insulation that was exposed to it?” he asked. “I think it can be fixed, but what’s the cost going to be, and why wasn’t this done, and why wasn’t it acknowledged.” He said the walls and floors should have been cut into when the sheriff first asked for it.

“My biggest concern is not the insulation or the old wood, it’s the seeping up in the floor. That’s going to be the bigger problem to solve, because that shows there’s no barrier down there,” Mullins said, echoing an assertion Dennis McDonald, himself a developer and a county commission candidate many times over–and a tireless nemesis to county officials–has been making for half a year. “The worst thing as a builder I could see is water coming up from the concrete, and that was observed.”

In his late-night email, Hadeed further addressed the moisture issue: “[T]his was a surprise because the expectation was that if there was moisture it would be in the wall cavities. That was the point of the cut outs. But the cavities were ultra-dry. The CDC expected that if there was water intrusion we would find it there and that origin might be via the roof or potentially the landscaping on the east side of the building. However, there was no evidence on the concrete wall interiors or on the sheetrock, front or back, of any moisture condition. It is puzzling because with all of the prior expert visitations, the individual assessors carry and use moisture sensing devices. How did none of them detect it on their visits? Dr. Hejzlar specifically tested for moisture under carpets and tile and tested the slab itself. Does this mean the moisture was of recent vintage? Just stating it seems remote. I am confounded until I see hard analysis with testing results. We hope to unravel all of this with the coming inspections and testing by Terracon.”

So what happens next?

“That’s the next discussion once all the testing and results are in,” Staly said. “It would be premature to speculate what the next step is. We need to finish this step first, get the report, and then determine what is the next step forward.” Asked directly if there was any hope of re-entering the building, he said: “I think I really need to wait and see,” and added: “Some of the things I was briefed on by Mark I’m not sure are curable but I’m not an engineer and I’m not a builder. But what I do know is that I will not let my employees go back into that building until I am beyond assured that it’s a safe building for them to work.”

46 Responses for “Cuts Into Sheriff Building’s Structure Point to Alarming Issues, Including Bat Droppings and “Substantial Moisture””

  1. WOW says:

    So, this definitely doesn’t look good for Craig Coffey. But how come no one is bringing up Sally Sherman, Faith Alkahteb (just got a huge raise to $150k), Richard Gordon, Heidi Petito, Jim (Cornelia – did design work for the Sheriff) Manfre, and the rest of the gang on this that covered this whole thing up? Seems like they are flying under the radar when they had something to do with this from the beginning! Their jobs (except Manfre because he is already gone) should all be in the line too! How about some coverage on this cover up? Thank you Sheriff for being looking out for your staff!

  2. Is Coffey Running Scared??? says:

    Imagine that! Coffey knew all along, that is why he ordered a deep cleaning and did so before the CDC arrived, and was hand picking those that did the testing and where the testing was preformed. Has Coffey INTENTIONALLY done this and is he therefore RESPONSIBLE for the suffering of so many? I say the FBI or CDC need to call in a GRAND JURY and indite Coffey and any Commission that allowed Coffey to lead them around by the nose—like GREG HANSEN, Barbara Revels, Nate McLaughlin and George Hanns!!!!! Shame on you Craig Coffey. Why are you avoiding responding to us the people who are suffering and paying the tab????? FIRE COFFEY AND PROSECUTE HIM—NO SEVERANCE PACKAGE!!!!!

  3. Fredrick says:

    When does the facility becomes Mr. Coffey’s new office. Let him work out of there. Time to leave sir. Time to pack it in.

  4. Ben Hogarth says:

    Just further vindication for the employees who have suffered and for those of us who have explained our concerns with “adaptive reuse” of old, industrial buildings. I remember that one of the initial concerns of the building during project analysis prior to reconstruction was the flood plain management of the site. It was not at all a surprise for me to read what the findings were once cuts were made. I suppose the only surprise was the exposure of bat droppings in parts of the structure that had not been reported even years ago.. at least to my knowledge.

    I would not want to be defending the county in that courtroom when the judge is discussing these results. I also disagree wholeheartedly that such major infrastructural concerns can be remedied. I’m pretty sure that even monetarily, starting anew with a blank block slate will be in the best interests of all. And holding those accountable for this waste of taxpayer dollars and court time must be equally the priority.

  5. Dennis McDonald says:

    This comment shows that Hadeed is an incompetent fool and knows nothing of the building code that I personally informed the BOCC, Coffey, Sherman, al Khabit and Hadeed in 2015. The sill plates around the entire perimeter of this building DO NOT COMPLY ! This guy is the HIGHEST PAID County employee in Flagler.

    From Flagler Live….“Some of the cutouts at the roof level showed old and new wood,” Hadeed wrote. “The old wood was found to be sound and dry. Some samples were tested with a moisture probe and the old wood tested as drier than the new wood. This wood was not part of the rotten wood to be replaced in the building construction specifications. Please note that any bad wood was to be removed as part of the construction project.”

    Florida Building Code :
    2318.1.4.1 Sills and/or base plates, where provided in contact with masonry or concrete, shall be of an approved durable species or be treated with an approved preservative and shall be attached to the masonry or concrete with 1/2 inch (13 mm) diameter bolts with oversized washer spaced not over 2 feet (610 mm) apart and embedded not less than 7 inches (178 mm) into a grout filled cell of masonry or into concrete. Base plates shall be placed in a recess 3/4 inch (19 mm) deep and the width of the base plate at the edge of a concrete slab, beam/slab or any other type of construction which uses a masonry surface or concrete slab, or be provided with an alternate waterstop method as approved by the building official. Alternate methods of anchorage may be designed by rational analysis by a registered professional engineer or a registered architect proficient in structural design.

    Review the Mullins pictures and compare to the 2015 pictures. Does anyone see NEW TREATED GREEN LUMBER REQUIRED BY THE FLORIDA BUILDING CODE in 2015 ? The responsibility to enforce the Code is entrusted by the Legislature to each County BOCC for their Manager to enforce !

    Wave GOODBYE Mr Coffey and Company.

  6. someone needs to go to jail says:

    It is time for the rats to start jumping ship!!! ALL of the county employees that had a part in this SOC being renovated/demolished need to be fired. There was obviously a lot of shit being covered up. It is time for the EPA and FBI to investigate and start prosecutions!!

  7. Kathy says:

    @WOW, don’t leave Staly out of you list of cover-ups…what was his role during the time of the build and how long did he ignore his employees before jumping to their side? Flaglerlive, at one point, published an article and document that showed a gap in time on this issue…that gap is when Staly was sitting on it.

  8. Concerned Citizen says:

    Plenty enough blame for ALL involved here.

    Craig Coffey knew that this building was an old rundown hospital with plenty of potential problems. You don’t let a building sit dilapidated for years then just hang new dry wall and paint. Then expect everything to be move in ready. Likewise his subordinates including Faith and Sally are equally responsible for helping the process a long.

    Sheriff Staly is the head of his organization. As such he was involved from day one with the process of obtaining and rehabilitating the old hospital. Sheriff Staly comes across as a somewhat educated person. I find it hard to believe that he could not know at any point prior to occupying there would never be any issues. This I didn’t know approach doesn’t work anymore.

    And lets not forget our Commissioners. Plenty of blame to go around on this one.

    This was an extreme case of negligence on our County Leaderships part. Once again a good deal of money was wasted on a know uninhabitable and unsafe building. Now we have sick employees who need long term healthcare because of YOUR negligence.

    I hope that media attention keeps pressure on our county leadership. They obviously like to do things in the dark. A lesson in accountability and what’s right is sorely needed.

    The citizens of Flagler County are tired of inept and corrupt leadership. A change is sorely needed.

  9. Jane Gentile-Youd says:

    Demolish and built a new … Fire Coffey snd Hadeed and file civil actions ( and criminal.investigation) against them for the demolition costs… if nothing else we should be able to get judgments
    … Just ‘ wishful thinking ‘ I guess….
    Disgusting malfisance .. misfeasince for starters. IMMEDIATE COMPENSATION to every affected county employee

  10. B D McGeee says:

    Interesting post. Obviously a County employee with a personal agenda. Let me start by I am not a Craig fan but attacks for political reasons are wrong. Lets review, 1st there is no cover up. When the building rehab was begun there was a scope of work on to the extent of the construction that the sheriffs office was privy to. Next, the findings show nothing. The article is sensationalized in order to get public outrage. There was no moisture in the walls, no moisture in the ceiling and none in the base. What was found was minimal in a damaged tile. Most likely from water used to clean the floor. This will be disclosed in the findings i am sure but why not listen to the people angling for a new building. The bottom line is the Sheriff wants a new building. Why not ask the tax payers for it? Why try to damage reputations and ruin careers? Either way the people of Flagler will have to pay for it. Why keep hiding behind a politically charged slander campaign? I hope that the residents of this county wait for facts to make opinions and are not swayed by this attempt to manipulate their views an intelligence. As a Tax Payer I know that rely on facts!

  11. oldtimer says:

    As someone who worked in the building every day I can confirm that the tiles in all the hallways started to warp after just one year ,also the paint on the floor in evidence started peeling the first year, it was a running joke

  12. B D McGeee says:

    Good to know the initial concerns, however, there was no flooding in the building so those concerns are invalid. In addition the Sheriff was all in on this building. Defending in the courtroom will be easy if it gets to that point. Courts tend to focus on facts and not emotional and nonfactual opinion. The test have all come back clean. There has been no determination of any situation that would cause sickness. It is looking more and more like a political play to get a new building. Lets call it what it is.

  13. Sherry says:

    Right On, Ben!

    I actually remember a couple of uninformed/uneducated people commenting that the health concerns were a tempest in a teapot and all that was needed was some new sheet rock. Coffey’s head should roll for this whole debacle and attempted cover up! But, it’s likely no one will be held accountable because the county commissioners are not courageous and responsible enough to make that happen.

  14. Lance Carroll says:

    Whose names are on the list of investors that bought building and sold to county? Who is contractor that held permit? Two very important questions……

  15. thomas says:

    I wonder who the “investors” were that sold the building to the County. The transaction sounds fishy.

  16. The original woody says:

    This is criminal,sue the crap out of the contractor for the repairs and more.Oh and fire Coffey.

  17. atilla says:

    Should the state get involved? It looks like extortion and criminal wrong doings between Coffey the reconstruction managers and the reconstruction company and perhaps Manfre. I think a criminal investigation is called for.

  18. John Brady says:

    Well well Flagler’s Watergate who knew and when did they know. The answer to these questions would justify a firing for “cause”. I can see three employees whose combined salary is three quarters of a million. A good start on a down payment on a new building.

    I have said all a long not another penny for testing because there maybe some toxin for which there is not a test. It is a sick building. Instead of testing hire a real attorney to sue the contractor. Maybe the FBI needs to be involved because if it looks like corruption, walks like corruption and sure smells like corruption then it must be corruption. Room and board provided at a federal prison

    No more testing move on

  19. palmcoaster says:

    Finally what Sheriff Mr. Staly, and even before him taxpayer and public funds waste watch dog Mr. Dennis McDonald also fought the FCBOCC, its administrator and legal team since 2013 regarding the overpriced purchase of that old contaminated hospital structure sitting vacant for over 11 years is finally uncovered.
    Shame that all our sheriff employees fallen sick were scorned as pretending sickness to collect disability payments as inferred to FCBOCC current chair Mr. O’Brien by Mr. Coffey and citizen McDonald and others were sued by the county with the complicity of the Un-Ethic State Commission in Tallahassee in an witch hunting plan for breaking the “Code of Silence” violating our Florida Statute on Slapp Suits and our First Amendment.
    The FCBOCC, administrators and legal team keep wasting our hard earned taxes even declining the use of our county insurance lawyer services to hire the most expensive lawyer former State (Un-) Ethic Commission Member Attorney Herron against county citizens and constitutional officials for uncovering wrong doing while preserving that “Code of Silence”. We all hope that the new FCBOCC Chair Mr. O’ Brien and Mr. Mullins will also investigate other wrong doing in these past years at least, like as I was told whatever happened to the funds gathered from a created tax district for the residents of western Flagler county to “pave their dirt roads” and as the reason given ” their advisory committee dissolved itself” not the taxes levied, then the dirt roads were not paved but “just maintained instead”. Were did those tax district funds went…? Maybe to the general fund? Can this issue be investigated as well?
    In this county and as well the city of Palm Coast when citizens ask questions regarding improper use of our hard earned taxes instead to be spent in our services first or questions on suspected fraud committed while our ballots are counted during elections, we should not be investigated or sued, simply because they do not pay the lawyers, but instead replied to our concerns and wrong doing stop and resolved.

  20. Richard says:

    Transparency at its finest display of Flagler politics. Criminals go to prison unless you are a democratic politician for the federal or even local governments.

  21. capt says:

    Its rather simple, Fire Coffey and Hadeed , tear this building down and look for another site to build a Sheriff Operations Center, sue the contractors that performed the “remodel”, and there could be some investigation into whom in the county approved all the building inspections. .

  22. Just the facts says:

    @B D McGee. did you actually read the article? Have you been in the building? Are you an expert on sick buildings?

  23. Bill says:

    “thomas says:
    January 5, 2019 at 6:06 am
    I wonder who the “investors” were that sold the building to the County. The transaction sounds fishy.”

    well If one looks into or reads this story you would know.

    negotiating a possible deal with the hospital’s owners—Bruce Page, the Intracoastal Bank CEO, Michael Chiumento, the Palm Coast lawyer, and James Newslow, who owns a construction company in Ormond Beach.

  24. What gives says:

    No mention of what company did the shoddy reconstruction? Or did I miss it?

  25. Reality says:

    Let’s not praise the Sheriff for taking care of his employees. For months, he was asked and was begged to look into the building and the employees getting sick and he tried covering it up. He threatened to demote or fire them. He had other employees harassing and making unethical comments to these sick employees.
    ALL staff emails are public record. Ask for them. I bet you won’t get them.
    The Sheriff and his upper staff are not as innocent as everyone thinks. ASK FOR THE EMAILS!!!

  26. TheTruth says:

    Mr. Coffey you put these people’s health in jeopardy, and because of that you should resign without any perks, or be fired.

  27. Has always been suspicious says:

    I have all along wondered who profitted from the purchase of this building. I am not accusing, merely asking.. The former sheriff had a familial relationship with a realtor, was she or her company in any way connected to the purchase of the building?

  28. snapperhead says:

    I have a solution. Lease it to Captain’s BBQ for $1000 a month and let them expand and renovate it for the $1 million they were going to use for a new building at Bing’s Landing. I’m sure their legions of fans worldwide would still patronize that location since their BBQ is so damn good right? Problem’re welcome.

  29. Michael Van Buren says:

    I often wondered the same thing…. Maybe now it will be investigated further.

  30. ASF says:

    Bad news for the Palm Coast Council–and whatever developer was allowed/enabled to foist this problem on the innocent citizens of Palm Coast. A full investigation into THAT should certainy take place–and prosecutions of any wrong-doing that caused harm to the public be pursued.

  31. Concerned Citizen says:

    Everyone is focused on Coffey. Staly is the Sheriff and is such is just as responsible as Coffey is. He’s done a good job distancing himself but it’s time we recognized he’s part of the guilty as well.

    When are we going to start holding ALL of our Leadership responsible? And that includes Commissioners as well.

  32. Agkistrodon says:

    My question is to those who said I was wrong when I stated that Coffey should be fired and told to take the train and collect unemployment, How do YOU say NOW? This fool should NEVER work for another city, county, state, or flea market for that matter!

  33. Percy's mother says:

    Bruce Page, the Intracoastal Bank CEO, Michael Chiumento, the Palm Coast lawyer, and James Newslow, who owns a construction company in Ormond Beach. The trio bought the 60,000 square-foot hospital in 2006 for $750,000 under the corporate name of Flagler Crossroads. It was one of those housing boom investments, but it was completed at the worst point: just when the boom was cresting.

    FlaglerLive time to put on your investigative reporter’s hat so as to get to the filthy murky bottom of this story.

    I think there’s a huge story underneath all this waiting to be uncovered.

    What construction company handled the “renovation”? I’ve forgotten.

    Corruption in a small southern town . . . waiting for the scoop Pierre. This could be your year in investigative journalism.

  34. palmcoaster says:

    Manfre or his realtor wife had nothing to do with that hospital deal, thou they pressured Manfre.
    I saw in that hospital building Realtor Mrs Margaret Sheehan Jones from FB and her photo in the sign if I recall correct. The owners of that building were Bruce Page, the Intracoastal Bank CEO, Michael Chiumento, the Palm Coast lawyer, and James Newslow, who owns a construction company in Ormond Beach.
    Meeker, Revels and Mclaughlin were promoters of that tainted hospital purchase. Lets see the real facts.
    Also Revels should have abstained from voting on the purchase as:
    Good old boys network shamefully using our hard earned taxes to benefit the few already wealthy ones:

  35. A Dedicated American says:

    And now the newly signed lease at Bings Landing should be voided. Anything to do with Coffey, Al Hadeed,and Chimento should automatically be put on hold. Coffey and Hadeed should be stripped of their pay and all retirement perks in their contracts and be sued for all the law suits that are coming from the sheriffs employees. Hanson and the passed buddy of Coffey, McLaughlin should be held responsible also. These commissioners are not doing their jobs.

  36. Maffamike says:

    Wellll I guess the sheriff and tax payers have been right about mrrrrrCoffey . Did he tear down the old building using his secret crew of county workers without proper permits . Did we get stuck for fines because of his illegal actions (county exec should know he doesn’t violate the laws? Also county lawyer)His deal with Bings landing no better he claimed he never inspected bing restaurant to ascertain the damage there ,did he . Why did Coffey give Bings two new addendums to their lease one in 2015 and one in 2016 these two new leases only extended the lease for approx 15 years more , this made taxpayers liable for15 years instead of balance of 5years which was ordinal lease . Do we PAY ????? For coffeys malfesence did coffe take it upon himself to tear down sheriffs building ?. Where have county commissioners been ?sleeping . Where have building inspectors been let’s check their paper work .did Coffey bill county for New wood and flooring ? Just asking ?. It sure seems some body involved with county have been remiss in their responsibilities. Looks look at lawyer, al Hadeed he wrote the leases , the entire executive committee should be looked at very carefully and if involved fire them all, Nate Mc Laughlin is also involved he was and Was coffeys go get it Water boy

  37. gerald smith says:

    after being told ALL old materials were removed (which is a flat out lie) they can’t hide behind saying ” well they’re not the problem” What else did they lie about ? Oh yea, no barrier installed

  38. mark101 says:

    This whole thing stinks of a coverup, either by the engineering dept of Flagler County or the man whom administered the county, yep that would be sir Coffey. My question is who approved the work by these contractors and who performed the inspections, something is surely amiss.

  39. Barney Fife says:

    The certificate of occupancy for this building was issued in October of 2015 and Staly was elected in 2016 so he was not the head of this organization from day one.

  40. Jack Howell says:

    Well for those pundits that supported the County Administrator you now have egg on your face. The same for those of you that thought Dennis McDonald was just stirring up trouble and did not have a clue about was he was talking about. Enjoy your egg! I venture to say that when the drywall is pulled off more bad stuff will be present. Now, one of the most important things that must be done, is to validate the illness of the employees so they can file their medical claims and get the help they need. This should be the highest priority!

    As a member of the Palm Coast City Council, some folks have cautioned me that the City of Palm Coast officials has no dog in the fight and to mind my own business. Well, I have a legitimate concern. When sheriff deputies call in sick and are not available for work, it impacts the presence of protection the city is receiving. Further, many of the deputies are close friends of mine, and I care about their health and safety.
    I mentioned last week that I support the Coastal PBA’s position of no confidence in Mr. Coffey’s ability to lead. I also support the County and City Fire Fighters union positions as well. My support is unwavering and I do feel that perhaps a criminal investigation by the States Attorney or FBI may be needed to uncover the unscrupulous actions by those involved in the purchase of the old hospital and construction of Sheriff’s Operations Center.
    The only remedy I see is the destruction of this Hazmat horror.

  41. A forensic audit needs to be ordered NOW says:

    Because Coffey and Company has said the building is safe, and the evidence proves otherwise, and because Coffey and Company tried to deep clean before the CDC was to inspect, and because Coffey hired his own minions to do the testing thus far, and because Coffey and Company said the Sheriff’s employees were faking it and just looking for reason to get Worker’s Comp A FORENSIC AUDIT needs to be conducted on this county! If we can be deceived about all of this, why would we not be deceived about a lot of other things. There is no telling what we don’t know about that has been pushed through the consent agenda and what has been quietly handed by Coffey. After all it was a former article on this blog site that even told us that Coffey has been working out the deal on the purchase of the old hospital behind closed doors. Then for the Sally Sherman stunt and Bings stunt to take place just shortly before Coffey’s biggest fan, Nate McLaughlin was unseated is too all the more reason we deserve to know what was really going on. The BOCC needs to fire Coffey and Hadeed and do a forensic audit!!! These two men manipulated the BOCC and have made asses out of them and now we tax payers will probably be faced with lots of legal fees, lawsuits and costs. To think they have golden parachutes in their contracts is sickening. A bunch of greedy bastards!

  42. Truth says:

    FlaglerLive, I read your sensational report. It contained many things except the most important detail… That is a report that links the building condition to the employees health conditions. That report does not appear to exist. Absent that report, your reports appear to be completely one sided.

  43. Mike Kozlenko says:

    Pitiful and shameful. My mom has worked full time as a sheriff’s office employee for years and is now suffering everyday with stage 3 cancer because of what looks like vast incompetence and corruption. There is definitely a correlation between when they moved into the new building and her (along with many other employees) starting to feel sick & lethargic everyday at work, leading into my mom’s diagnosis in the spring of 2018. Anyone who worked there would say that the building felt toxic. Classic case of county officials putting their political and monetary needs ahead of their people. Someone (or several people) definitely knew the condition of the building but decided to move the department in. Hoping strong legal action is taken in this.

  44. Dave says:

    Finally some progress! Now they can get in, fix the problem and get all these employees back in there and working. This has dragged on long enough with all parties looking bad. Let’s fix what’s wrong and get the employees back in the building and back to work!

  45. Right says:

    No fan of Coffey but if he’s sitting on info that would incriminate others he should make it known. What was Manfres and/or Stalys involvement at the time? Is there more? Staly is smart in that he realized he’d better side with his deputies. How long did it take him to come to that conclusion? How long did he sit on complaints? How serious did he take them? I believe the building was already evacuated when the lip sync challenge was done and Staly is walking the hall pretending to come up with an idea. How serious did he take what was happening to the employees? Not too serious if you’re roaming the hallway of a building for a lip sync challenge video idea….a building that had recently been evacuated and employees relocated because a number of them had become sick.

  46. Rob Jr says:

    Start treating these gov employees as if they worked in private / corporate enterprise.

    In corporate if someone pulled a bone head play like this their feet would be agitating the pavement.

    Quick, fast and in a hurry.

Leave a Reply

FlaglerLive's forum, as noted in our comment policy, is for debate and conversation that adds light and perspective to articles. Please be courteous, don't attack fellow-commenters or make personal attacks against individuals in stories, and try to stick to the subject. All comments are moderated.

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

More stories on FlaglerLive

FlaglerLive Email Alerts

Enter your email address to get alerts.


fcir florida center for investigative reporting

Recent Comments

FlaglerLive is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization | P.O. Box 254263, Palm Coast, FL 32135 | Contact the Editor by email | (386) 586-0257 | Sitemap | Log in