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Purity, Schmurity: GOP’s Ray Stevens Picks Democrat Jim Manfre, Jolting Sheriff’s Race

| October 10, 2012

Sheriff shuffle: from left, Don Fleming, Jim Manfre and Ray Stevens. (© FlaglerLive)

For months during the primary, Ray Stevens, running as a Republican candidate for sheriff, attacked one of his opponents–John Pollinger—for being a fake Republican. Stevens backed a lawsuit filed by his ex-campaign manager to get Pollinger off the ballot, on the ground that he’d been a registered Democrat in New Jersey until January, though Pollinger had been a registered Republican in Florida for over three years. When asked why she was so intent on fighting Pollinger on Stevens’s behalf, Anne-Marie Shaffer, a local member of the Ronald Reagan Republican Assemblies, invoked “party purity.

On Tuesday, purity was out the window as what had been suspected for weeks was made official: Ray Stevens endorsed Democrat Jim Manfre for sheriff.

Click On:

The race for Flagler County Sheriff is one of the two most venomous local races on the ballot Nov. 6: Fleming and Manfre have an intense personal dislike for each other.  But the endorsement reveals the depth of animosity within Republican ranks for some of their own (Ronald Reagan assembly members equally revile Republican Frank Meeker, a candidate for the county commission), while it potentially upends what is expected to be a very close race, where endorsements by former candidates with any kind of base could tip the race one way or the other. Both Stevens and Pollinger carried numbers enough to give their endorsement some weight.

“There is no hypocrisy here,” Stevens said this morning. “One has to make a distinction between a partisan primary where Republicans vote for Republicans and Democrats vote for Democrats, and a general election where all the registered voters vote, and hopefully they vote for the better candidate. My issue with Pollinger was not that he was a Democrat. He could have been a socialist or a communist or whatever. But the issue here is, and it is fact-sensitive, that Pollinger swore to an oath of office that he had not been a member of a registered member of another political party for 365 days, which in fact he was, and that is the issue. He was not properly qualified to run in a Republican or partisan primary. That’s where it ends.”

The endorsement drew laughter from an unsurprised Pollinger, who called Manfre “the flavor of the moment for Ray Stevens” while ridiculing Stevens’s evolution going back to his first run for sheriff four years ago, when Stevens ran as an independent and made his no-party affiliation a central plank of his campaign, saying law enforcement should not be politicized. “He’s demonstrated that he has no clear allegiance or affiliation with anybody. He’s an opportunist.”

Pollinger, meanwhile, endorsed Fleming—a move Stevens says could not have been surprising. Stevens never believed that Pollinger had run for any other reason than to split the vote for Fleming. Absent Pollinger’s presence in the race, Stevens says he would have “walked away” with victory.

“I don’t know what weight or influence I have,” Pollinger said, “but the only deal Don Fleming and I made from the beginning was that I was running for sheriff, not against him. The only deal we had was that we would be civil.”

Fleming reacted to the Stevens endorsement this way: “I imagine Ray Stevens needs a job, just like Jim Manfre needs a job. There’s no party purity when it comes down to that.”

The implication is that Stevens might be in line for a job in a new Manfre administration (Stevens commanded the detective bureau at the Ossining Police Department, where he worked for decades before moving to Pinellas County, then to Flagler County).

“It’s a lie,” Manfre said this morning of Fleming’s implication. “He shouldn’t say that, it’s a slander, because first of all, for me to promise a job is a felony.” Manfre said he’ll have a transition team that’ll make recommendations, but that “no one is getting fired.”

“My overall philosophy, and I tell every single person who supports me, is that I make no deal, I make no promises about personnel to any supporter of mine,” Manfre said. Fleming’s implication, to Manfre, is another indication of the sheriff’s alleged facility with bypassing the rule of law. When Fleming got rid of several sheriff’s office staffers at the beginning of his first term, he ended up with equal opportunity employment lawsuits that cost taxpayers around $400,000, Manfre said.

Not all amigos: Don Fleming, Jim Manfre and John Pollinger. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Stevens also dismissed the claim that he’s looking for work. “First of all, I don’t need a job. I live comfortably. I don’t owe any money, and I don’t need a job. I ran for sheriff to make a difference, to enhance the quality of law enforcement in this county,” he said, stressing that the possibility of a job hasn’t even been discussed with Manfre.

But would he decline a job if one were offered? “I don’t know. I bought an RV which I’m working on, it’s an older one, I plan to travel with my family, as you know I have a 10-year-old daughter. I’d have to discuss that with my wife and make a decision if and when it was offered. One should never close a door or burn bridges. Anything is possible. But I want to stress the fact that it was not even discussed.”

Pollinger, too, is itching to get back on the cop beat after eight years away, but he doesn’t see that happening locally, and Fleming is discounting the possibility. “I don’t see anybody in the agency that I have right now retiring or moving away,” Fleming said. The Pollinger endorsement was nothing more than that. “He has come out and said he’d like to support me, he has no terms or conditions for that support. That’s the way I like it at this point in time.”

When all the barbs, the ironies and the titters settle, there’s still the matter of strategy and vote-counting: Stevens has a loyal and substantial base.

In August’s three-way primary, Stevens ran second to Fleming, with 3,020 votes (33 percent) to Fleming’s 3,540 (39 percent). Pollinger got 2,526 votes (28 percent). Going by strict allegiance, Stevens may appear to carry more votes to give Manfre than Pollinger would Fleming. But that’s assuming that most of Stevens’s Republican supporters would stomach following him to back a Democratic candidate—a very big assumption, especially in a county as polarized as Flagler.

Fleming thinks the Stevens effect will be insignificant. I don’t think it’s going to affect the Republican vote whatsoever,” the sheriff said. “I believe if you’re a Republican, the Republicans are going to vote for a Republican. I think I’ve been a good sheriff.”

But the proportion of Republicans in the county is just 37.1 percent of the electorate, and its down from 37.6 percent four years ago. It’s still better than Democrats’ 35.3 percent share (down from 37.8 percent four years ago), but that still leaves more than a quarter of the electorate in the independent and minor party column. Holding on to Republicans alone, in other words, is not a winning strategy for Fleming.

Manfre thinks even a 1,000-vote difference in his favor, caused by the Stevens endorsement, would be enough to tip him to victory.

If the electorate breaks down as it did in 2008, Manfre would be right: in 2008, less than 1,000 votes separated Fleming’s 41 percent win from Manfre, who got 39 percent. Ruinning third, with 9,400 votes: Ray Stevens, who carried 20 percent of the vote, Even if a fifth of those supporters were to swing Manfre’s way, Manfre would win—as long as he is to preserve the base he had in 2008.

This year Fleming is facing three serious liabilities that he did not face in 2008.

First, he was heavily criticized for taking a personal role in personally helping John Fischer the evening when Fischer’s wife, Jamesine, driving in the C Section, struck a 72-year-old Palm Coast woman, who eventually died. Jamesine Fischer faces a first-degree felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident. That trial is in January. Fleming and her husband exchanged a series of phone calls subsequent to the accident, a story Fleming changed several times, and Fleming lined up the Fischers with his own department’s attorney—Steven Alexander, a repeat donor to the Fleming campaign.

Second, Fleming drew an ethics violation charge subsequent to revelations that he’d accepted a gift card giving him access to the Hammock Beach Resort. Elected officials are barred from accepting gifts with large dollar value. That issue goes before the Florida Commission on Ethics on Oct. 19.

Third, Fleming was severely criticized, including from within his agency, for merely demoting—at the same pay rate—Jamie Roster, a deputy that an internal investigation showed took some $8,000 in overtime pay he did not work for. Roster was accused by his own men. Fleming said he did not fire Roster, even though two other deputies had previously been fired for similar but lesser offenses, because Roster, Fleming said, would prevail once the case worked through a union appeal.

Stevens says he’s hoping to generate 1,000 to 1,500 votes for Manfre—and to do so actively: the two men campaigned together at Flagler Beach’s First Friday last weekend, and will have joint appearances in coming days.

Manfre is also pulling on the support of other Republicans, including Bill Karback, who ran for sheriff in 2008 and lost in a three-way primary, carrying 30 percent of the vote.

But Stevens’s allegiance to Manfre is a one-Democrat exception. Stevens said he’s voting Republican all the way, in remaining races. As for Pollinger, he put it this way: “Am I going to actively stay in the Republican Party? I don’t know, because I don’t know what the Republican Party in the county is anymore.”


40 Responses for “Purity, Schmurity: GOP’s Ray Stevens Picks Democrat Jim Manfre, Jolting Sheriff’s Race”

  1. Biker says:

    We we have certainly taken hypocrisy to new levels here. And Mr Mafre is excactly correct. It would absolutely be a felony to offer a job to Ray Stevens at this point of the election. wiink wink. Just what this county needs two law enforcement officials with Napoleonic Complexes.

  2. Sal Passalaqua says:

    Amazing… all I can say here

  3. roco says:

    I’m ashamed to admit I voted for Stevens in the primaries.. He’s shown his true colors.. He’s a turn coat and no better then Crist or Pollinger or any other politician who changes partys to enhance their personal agenda and line their pockets.. Manfre was no good in the past and was voted out..

  4. Collusion says:

    Interesting move by Stevens. I do believe that this endorsement may tip the outcome of the sheriff’s race. I am a democrat and actually voted for Mr. Manfre in the primary. I thought the lawsuit filed in the republican primary from the Stevens camp attempted to make a mockery of the election process. Now it seems as Stevens is up to his same old tricks. Mr. Manfre you have lost my support and I am voting for the republican incumbent sheriff, Don Fleming, in this year’s general election.

  5. Lonewolf says:

    Oh no…it’s the kiss of death for Manfre

    • MAW says:

      Mr. Fleming has my vote. But oh how I wish Mr. Pollinger had won the primary, that said the Stevens campaign was dirty politics and put Mr. Pollinger between a rock and a hard place as he defened his right to be on the ballot as a Republican. God Speed Mr Pollinger in what ever you do.
      Please know, that 2500 or more voted for you and will follow your lead any time. You are in our opinion a breath of fresh air for Flagler County. Thank you for your service and thank you for your example of what a good candidate you have shown us all during the primary.

  6. Robert Lewis says:

    No real surprise here.

    All those that supported Stevens should be ashamed that he tuned his back on his party.
    They owe Pollinger an apology. He is a man that stands behind his principles.

    Shame on you Ray. Shame on you Jim.

    • Magnolia says:

      Stands on his principles in which party, Republican or Democrat? Heard he was a Democrat.

      Seems to be a recurring problem here in Palm Coast.

      Anonymous, What did the RRR do to Pollinger? Missed that.

  7. tulip says:

    As usual, another dirty move by a RR person. They certainly are showing their true personalities.

  8. Magnolia says:

    Reviled? Frank Meeker is the State Committeeman for the REC. And as an RRR volunteer, I can tell you he is anything but reviled. Don’t know who your sources are, but I guess it makes a better story to put it that way.

    I thought that Mr. Pollinger and Mr. Fleming hardly knew each other? Isn’t Mr. Fleming supposed to offer Mr. Pollinger a job as his Chief Deputy? That’s the story I was hearing before the primary. Guess we will know shortly, won’t we?

  9. Magicone says:

    Could we just get a Sheriff that would put the deputies to work enforcing the speed limit in Flagler county!!

  10. glad fly says:

    above board,no shenanigans,no mud slinging and now dirty politics…don fleming for sheriff. case closed.

  11. Will says:

    Wait a minute – a couple of folks above said that because Stevens is now supporting Manfre that they’re now not going to vote for Manfre even though the did before…

    That doesn’t make sense to me. Manfre still stands on the same principles as he did before, and whoever said “wink, wink” above doesn’t know Jim. He’s an honest experienced man, with experience as Sheriff, who knows the law who will serve the county well. It’s not his first rodeo.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Stevens and the RRR, are nothing but slime! They destroyed John Pollinger, and now Stevens supports the Democrat! As soon as the stench of this election clears, I’m switching from Republican to Independent!

  13. DWFerg says:

    Thanks for the lesson in hometown politics. Guess there is no escaping partisanship, AND intra- party revolt. It appears that Republican party unity needs some rejuvenation and fresh ideas / energy (Youth would also help). Hope that truly informed voters make Wise choices this Nov. 6th–Romney is a no brainer, however, there may be a choice outside of the typical straight party ticket–I saw enough of that RINO stuff in Duval county over the years as well as scandal–It’s no different here, just on a smaller scale. Gotta love it ! The growth of Independent voters are a sign that traditional DEM vs. REP positions are stale and needs reconstruction. !

  14. Reality Check says:

    Manfre is a proven loser, he was Sheriff once before with a losing record with the public and the County and City Officials. He has an ego problem, why would anyone vote for someone who has a proven record of failure. Oh wait we have a President hoping for the same thing. I am sorry, if you worked in the private sector and you did the things politicians did (failure records) you would be fired, people not voting for someone gives you that power. When you re-elect a person to office you are telling them thank you, you did a good job and now we expect the same or better from you. If they did, poor jobs then you as a voter are ignoring the problem and letting the anarchy go on with your blessing. Manfre is a proven failure and an egomaniac that should not be put back in office, and he will only be there to boost his ego and collect the paycheck anyway.

    • PC Aviator says:

      Voters need to educate themselves on the history of Mr. Manfre. The population during his reign of terror was HALF what it is now. Those that were here and witnessed the intentional, strategic malfeasance need to spread the word. Please educate yourselves..
      Ask (1) why does he claim to have “law enforcment” experience? That would mean he was a “law enforcement officer.” Mr. Manfre is an attorney. He worked on Tort Law…
      (2) Why is his professional timeline so vague? Where is his time in Babylon, NY? Why is he leaving that out of his biography?
      (3) Mr. Manfre claims he will restore “ethics” in the FCSO by implementing character training. He brought a “Character First” training during his first term. This was a supposed to be a series of classes that members were to attend. Employees attended only ONE class. Then Manfre realized that EACH class cost several thousands of dollars (in excess of $15,000)…and he quickly cancelled them then blamed Lt. Steve Drenning about it…Lt. Drenning “retired” over this fiasco. Ask Lt. Drenning. He is working at Universal Studios now.
      (4) Manfre has alligned himself with some former and current employees of FCSO. Jimmy Williams was terminated from FCSO while on probation (means you do not need a reason) for reasons including: FCSO had to defend itself over Williams’ when he made a mother and her child leave their home because his realtor friend wanted to “show” the home. There was a pay out on this. Check the records. Williams violated this women’s civil rights. Manfre now stands shoulder to shoulder with him. Williams also filed the complaints against Sheriff Fleming regarding the card at Ocean Hammock. And they both cite “ethics.”
      (5) Manfre claims he had the “first” of everything at FCSO.
      -First SWAT Team; Fact: McCarthy had SWAT; Manfre had more formalized training
      -First Contract with Palm Coast: Fact: Palm Coast became a City in 1999. Sheriff McCarthy had a Memorandum of Understandin with Palm Coast.
      -First Accreditation; FACT: Accreditation didn’t become the “standard” until the mid 1990’s.
      -First Traffic Unit; FACT: McCarthy had motor units for the county; Manfre took the county unit and transferred it to the City of Palm Coast (Gerry Ditolla; Scott Gallagher got injured and ended up retiring)
      -Crime Stats: Manfre stated crime has increased 100+ percent and referenced a FL article. FACT: Manfre’s reference to an article on this site is erroneous. That article states the crime rate increased in jurisdictions not covered by the FCSO While this particular article is on target, a person in Manfre’s position should cite Florida Department of Law Enforcment as the “go to” place for crime stats–they are the keeper of them.
      FACT: Manfre skews the facts. He refers to the “crime rate” which includes factors such as race, sex, population. He makes no reference to the Crime Index which is raw statistics covering violent crime (i.e.: sex offenses, robbery, burglary, aggravated assault, larceny and motor vehicle theft) During Manfre’s term, the CRIME INDEX INCREASED OVER 66%; during last four years, comparing the exact same CRIME INDEX, Sheriff Fleming’s DECREASED 17%.
      Clearance Rate: Manfre is correct–30%; FACT: Fleming’s clearance rate has been 24%
      -Opened first precinct office in Palm Coast? Fact: Sheriff McCarthy opened the substation in the Palm Harbor Shopping Center in the mid-1980’s and staffed it with COPs. Under the first contract with Palm Coast, City Manager, Dick Kelton, required it to be a “manned” substation. Manfre changed it from “substation” to “precinct” and named it after someone who had very little roots in Palm Coast. Sheriff Fleming made it a full-service substation and honored a long-time sheriff in its dedication to Robert E. McCarthy. Deputies now do not have to leave their districts for briefing or paperwork. While the current location may not be the best, it was a fiscally prudent decision. The rent at Palm Harbor Shopping Center was going to DOUBLE, and eventually triple over the course of a new contract. Sheriff Fleming worked with the property owners at the current site and locked in a rate that is in the best interest of the citizens.

      Manfre can say he implemented all the “firsts” in the history of FCSO. If he can’t provide accurate information on this, how can we trust him about anything else…oh, that’s right…he’s an attorney and if his lips are moving….well, …???? Just saying….

  15. deana carmen says:

    It always amazes me when candidates who attack and tear each other apart before a primary end up supporting each other in the general election. Although I was never a fan of Stevens at least he didn’t do a flip flop and end up supporting Fleming. He dislikes Fleming enough to give his support to Manfre. If I was Manfre I wouldn’t turn away Stevens. I can’t see any candidate turning away support from anyone at this point.

  16. Clint says:

    I see more camera’s going up at intersections. Just read and article about a New FBI software ( NGI ) that can store every picture and video from every camera mounted on the streets of the USA. Sounds like were turning into England. Bloody SAD !!!!! What ever happen to the days of Andy & Barney ?

  17. ANONYMOUSAY says:

    Why get mad at a man who wants to work? These guys aren’t running for president. Stevens wants a job, wanting to eat and get a paycheck hold precedence over a political party I would think? If they want the job that bad let em have it.

  18. tulip says:

    Many people from the first Manfre era as sheriff have either died or moved away. Thousands of new people have moved here since Fleming became sheriff, and have absolutely NO IDEA of how awful things were when Manfre was sheriff. The people who have moved here since Fleming became sheriff should take what the “old timer”s are saying very seriously.

    I know a lot of people question some of Sheriff Flemings actions, including me BUT, all in all he has done a good job, and that’s what counts and that’s what it’s all about.

    • Dorothea says:


      As an old-timer who was here when Manfre was sheriff, I’m wondering what exactly you think was so awful. I think that Manfre was a more effective sheriff. He had the deputies actually patrolling neighborhoods, not cruising around waiting for the next big accident or crime to happen. Manfre’s hiring and promotions were based on competence, not personal friendship to the boss. Manfre ran the sheriff’s office in a professional manner, not by political gamesmanship.

      That’s just a few examples. So please tell us, tulip, what was so awful. Then we can have a meaningful discussion, not just aimless slamming of the candidate that you oppose.

      • PC Aviator says:

        What was so awful…how about constant fighting with EVERY government entity…
        –demanding a public admonishment for the County Administrator, David Haas, not acknowledging Manfre while in the BATHROOM.
        –demanding the arrest of public officials (Judge Hammond and the County Attorney, Al Hadeed) for not bowing to his whims.

        …how about the crumbling of his administration? Maronski was a great deputy. Manfre made it known to Maronski’s father (by visiting him at his home) that Maronski had better support Manfre in his re–election bid or else–then Maronski dropped all his equipment off at FCSO on the weekend and left—the state. This man who was supposed to be Manfre’s biggest supporter uprooted his wife and two children and left the state.
        –After Manfre saw the writing on the wall and knowing he did not have the support of his command staff (Maronski left, Malta was not supporting him) he demoted Malta. Malta is a well respected and dedicated member of the agency. Manfre screwed him.
        –Manfre first executive assistant, Juanita, was asked to “cover” things up. She left.
        –Manfre brought in his PIO, Ira, who was a flop–he left.
        –Manfre hired Denise, his new executive assistant; she had her car repossessed at the FCSO parking lot, he gave her pay roll advanced because she was going to have her utilities shut off–then she was involved in affairs with members of the agency–he moved her to a receptionist position at CID. Then it came out that she used promotional tickets to theme parks.

        Any one who crossed Manfre was punished, banished or pushed out. He came into FCSO was such great ambition. He did some great things during the first 12-24 months…then it went to hell. Flagler County was a rural county. Any sheriff would have implemented the things that Manfre did because there was so much that needed to be done. FCSO was behind the times. Manfre could have given the deputies a new pen and that would have been an improvement. MAnfre’s true colors are very scarey. Hell hath no fury like a Manfre scorned. He seeks revenge on anyone who crosses his path.

        Deputies are patrolling the streets. Manfre had no involvement in the daily deployment of deputies. That is the sergeant’s job. Don’t believe that the deputies don’t do the job they swore to do because of Manfre’s direction. He was so out of touch with his deputies. PLEASE EDUCATE YOURSELF.

  19. Will says:

    Some of the writers assume that if elected that Jim Manfre would offer a job to Ray Stevens. There’s speculation, but that’s all it is. If you’ve been planning to vote for Manfre, don’t let that unfounded speculation get in the way.

    Vote for Manfre. He’ll do the right thing, and be open and transparent about it too.

    • Biker says:

      Will , Would you like to buy a bridge? “Writers assume”? Where there is smoke there is usuallly a fire. From party purity to switching patrties? Stevens is a hypocrite with no real law enforcement experience and as for Manfre, we already fired him four years ago for dragging our county through a costly legal battle over emails and records in regards to wrong doings he was accused of comitting. We were the laughing stock of the region. He caused us to sue ourselves!! I am so sick of this nonsense.Its either Fleming or Manfre?? Thats our remaining choices?? I think I am going to write in John Pollinger for sheriif. Both the current candiadtes dont deserve another chance.

    • Reality Check says:

      Why would he do the right thing now? He did not do it the first time around. He butted heads with everyone in the County; he is nothing more than an egomaniac seeking a power position to strut around like a peacock. He tried real estate and failed, his legal career is in the toilet so now he will try to be Sherriff again. We need a person with a proven record of accomplishment; I believe Fleming has made some mistakes but nowhere near, what Manfre has done. Manfre has no real experience as a LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER; he does not deserve the title.

    • Ray Thorne says:

      Open and transparent? Boy how some forget.. During the records requests he stated that he was not accountable to anyone… Imagine that? Where is his five years of employment for the town of Babylon New York? Why does he omit it from his work history and why aren’t our “local” news outlets digging to find out? A cop shop should be run by a cop.

      • PC Aviator says:

        The media does not need to dig. They have all the information they need from the last two elections. The media is not digging…well, at least paper that sued Manfre, because they are all tied in together. Jon Kaney (Newpaper attorney) leads you to John Tanner (former state attorney and Lisa Tanner’s father) which leads you to Dennis Bayer (friend of John Tanner and law partner with Manfre) which then leads you to Manfre. And it probably doesn’t hurt Manfre that Tanner detests Fleming because of the jail incident with Tanner’s daughter.

        Imagine the good things that these powerful people could accomplish if they did not have hidden/personal agendas. +9*-6*-

        Tanner does not like Fleming because of the jail incident and because Fleming is a strong supporter of the now state attorney, RJ Larizza, who ousted Tanner from his long-time position. Kaney was also the attorney that sued Manfre over the calendar public records fiasco. That newspaper endorsed Manfre because he “got it” referring to the errors he had made …..we are awaiting the endorsement this time around….

  20. The Pianha says:

    Speculation??? Someone discovered a 4 year old Jersey registration flawed system wanting a Stevens campaign manager to resign from her position to file suit against John Pollinger because it was the “right thing” to do as a Republican? Stevens may have been a good cop and even a better investigator in upstate New York but I think his mud slinging flip flopping will hurt him in the future. I recall when the late Frank Celico called Manfre out at the Spanish American Club 4 years ago asking him “where were you Mr. Manfre when the hurricanes passed through Flagler County”? Manfre replied he was out on the road with the deputies and Frankie called it (in no uncertain terms) a lie because he himself was working at the time while he was aware Manfre remained at home with his family. Now, this doesn’t make Manfre a bad person and his actions are quite understandable wanting to be with his family during such a time but it does make him a sheep. As Lt. Col. Dave Grossman’s analogy of mankind explains, the majority of people are sheep then there are wolves and finally the sheepdogs. I will never believe that sheepdogs want to be led by sheep much the same as I don’t think that being a good administrator with never having walked in a cops shoes will make one a good sheriff.

  21. Flagler County Residet says:

    Magnolia, this is the problem with the RRRepublican club, it has no loyalty to true Republicans. I am curious about your teaser about “hearing” Fleming is going to offer Pollinger a job. I hear that Manfre is going to offer Stevens one. You tell us who told you and I will tell you who told me.

    BTW, I planned on voting for Manfre; however, now I won’t. Anyone making deals with Stevens definitely loses my vote. So, I will be voting for Fleming now.

  22. Flagler Bch says:

    The RRR club invoked “party purity” I’m not sure but wasn’t there a certain group in Germany lets say during the WWII that did the same thing? Thank God we didn’t have the night of the long knives.

  23. Ray Thorne says:

    Any possiblity of an interview with Ann Marie Schaffer Flaglerlive? I’d be interested in reading what she thinks now about her actions for a man who has made her look so foolish.

  24. Patty Jones says:

    All this vitriol directed at Manfre seems to be suspiciously extreme and coming from the opposite camp. Depicting Manfre as the devil incarnate and Fleming as an alternative is an obvious and ugly way to get votes for Fleming who has had his cigar chomping 8 years and needs to move on. America believes in second chances and Manfre deserves that. Stevens throwing his lot with Manfre should not be held against Manfre. Vote Manfre.

  25. Dorothea says:

    @PC Aviator

    Your list was impressive, but since you don’t source a single allegation, I have to assume that you were either there or received your information from someone inside the Fleming administration. I make my observations and comments as a private citizen, not as a cop.

    1. When Manfre lost the election to Fleming, it was not exactly a resounding defeat, but by a margin of about 900 votes. Given Fleming’s less the stellar job performance over the last four years, I’m glad to see Manfre is trying again.

    2. Manfre did, in fact, demand discipline from a para-military organization, a law enforcement agency. Fleming has a history of demanding no discipline, just allegiance. In return, he gives unabated support to his employees, even when they are wrong and at the expense of the citizens they serve.

    3. If we Google back decades we can find all kinds of dirt to throw. Fleming, for instance, refused to discipline his cops back in Little Ferrry, NJ, after they pursued a fleeing suspect across the George Washington Bridge, while firing wildly at the suspect. I am aware that half the GWB is not even in New Jersey, much less Little Ferry.

    4. As for all your insider information, politics is politics, but without proof of even where this information comes from, it’s more like a political ad, most of which I tend to disregard. And when it comes to political payback, I think that we should agree that there Fleming excels without going into specific details.

    5. Manfre does have law enforcement experience. He was sheriff for four years.

    6. Strange that you would blame the immediate superiors for poor job performance by some deputies, not their boss. With all patrol cars equipped with lo-jack, it would be fairly easy to keep track of where each car is at any given time. But, judging from the lack of neighborhood patrols, I’m guessing that noone is keeping track.

    7. I don’t know where Manfre was during the ’04 hurricanes, If he was in New York with his family, at least he wasn’t in a bar drinking up a storm as we so often see Fleming doing. Although I have to wonder how anyone could get from New York to Flagler County during a hurricane. All flights were cancelled.

    I stand by my comments as a private citizen who can no longer safely walk around my neighborhood and for whom property vandalism has become almost a weekly occurence. I also know that law enforcement stats are manipulated in a very simple way; just don’t report the crime.

    • Ray Thorne says:

      Four years as a Sheriff does not equal law enforcement experience by any stretch of the imagination. I also had no idea the crime was so bad that you can’t walk around your neighborhood. Really? People walk and bike all day long. Maybe you should try living in Jacksonville if you think crime is that bad here. Drinking up a storm? LOL If you so often see Fleming at a bar you must be there too. You accuse pc aviator of making allegations yet you do the same. And if it is insider information in pc aviators post who’d know better? IMO it would be someone who apparently was there.
      The majority of deputies reside in Palm Coast. To say you never see a patrol car in your neighborhood isn’t believable to me. And unless you’re up day and night waiting for one to pass by, you can’t make that assumption. One can easily go to and put in the search palm coast to see what types of calls deputies are on on a daily basis. And you’re ok with a man leaving the helm and shirking his responsibility to the residents of this county? Had he been a “law enforcement officer” he’d have been fired.

    • PC Aviator says:

      [PC Aviator, and other commenters: if you have documented proof that Manfre was not in Flagler County during the 2004 hurricanes, please produce it. Palm Coast Fire Chief Mike Beadle recalls working alongside Manfre during that season’s hurricanes. Making unsupported allegations is defamatory. Please don;t make them here–or show us the evidence. Thanks.–FL]

      Sources? That is comical. Speak with the command staff under Manfre. Malta and Carmen are still at FCSO. Hunt Maronski down in New York. David Haas the former coutny administrator is in Volusia County last i heard. Denise, his secretary, works for the schools.

      -Why would Malta be demoted to DFC by Manfre when it was Manfre who promoted him to major?
      Right around election time too?
      -Why would Maronski, the chief deputy, go into the sheriffs office on a weekend and leave all his equipment piled on his desk, resign and leave the state with his wife, who quit her teaching job, and he uprooted his two children from school to leave FCSO after more that 12 years on the job?
      -The incident with David Haas is on the record of the BOCC meetings. manfre asked for Haas to be admonsihed. Haas asked for Manfres resignation.
      -Speak with Judge Hammond about the bullying that Manfre tried with him regarding the courthouse.
      -Pull the court recordings and rulilngs for the calendar fiasco.
      -Go into the News Journal archives and pull the countless articles about Manfre.
      -Talk with Dick Kelton, for PC manager about Manfre trying to squeeze more money from the city.
      -Talk with Carmen about the tantrums.

      -Go to Universal Studios and speak with Lt. Drenning. He is at Harry Potter.

      Manfre with law enforcement experience??? he cited he had 15 years of experience on his handout during the 2004/5 campaign. When he was called on it, he changed it. Florida law does not require this constitutional officer to be state LEO certified. However, how many arrests has Manfre made? How many fights has he broken up–not caused? How many traffic stops has he done? Oh, I guess we can include the gentleman that he pulled over in Grand Haven. Ask Dave Williams about that one. He backed Manfre up. Interesting story there.

      Yes, I do have the names and particulars because people I care about are going to be subjected to the wrath of Manfre if he were, God forbid, to get re-elected.

      Call Rick Schaferr regarding the low down on Babylon. Go to the New Journal during the last two elections and find the paid private advertisement that was purchased to warn Flagler residents. I believe the wording was, “God help Flagler County.”

      If you have a problem with vandalism in your neighborhood please call the Communications center at 313-4911. The men and women who are patrolling the streets in our neighborhoods do a fantastic job. We may disagree with who should be sheriff but, saying they are manipulating statistics is wrong. If you ask for a report, it gets reported. The Records Clerk makes sure the crime is included in the UCR stats. Please do not allege the deputies are not doing there job when the fact is they are doing a great job. Also, you can report you vandalism report on-line at but if it is an on going problem like you indicate you should speak with a deputy. Maybe Cpl. Byrne can help you get a Neighborhood Watch going in your area. He can be reached at 586-2623 or stop into the Palm Coast Substation.

  26. deana carmen says:

    Obviously there are many here with short term memory loss but have what they think is a clear vision of what happened years ago. Fleming supporters constantly attack Jim Manfre for demanding that his deputies actually get out of the office and do some work. How does that compaire to deputies clocking into work under Fleming’s reign and instead are found to be working their private businesses or even out surfing?
    It is very easy to claim that Frankie Celico (may he rest in peace) claimed Manfre was at home during the storms, he is not here to support or deny this claim. Or as another writer claims Manfre was out of the State during the storms…which is it people? Actually, he was here in town working. How do I know? Because I was there working along with him.
    I have heard people claim Manfre is aloof, why because he is not your drinking buddy and does not spend his days or nights at a country club. Now that he is persona non grata at Hammock Dunes, you can find him at the Halifax Plantation Country Club where his wife works, still socializing and feeding his face instead of doing the job we pay him to do. Someone must have forgotten to tell him Halifax Plantation Country Club is in Volusia County. It’s no wonder his employees are out of control!
    Let’s not forget that vague insinuation about Manfre’s career in New York. Fleming supporters keep beating that dead horse. Intelligent people know that to pass the Florida Bar there is a strenuous background investigation. Had he had anything wrong in his background he would not be practicing law in the State of Florida. The fact is, Jim Manfre was a prosecutor in New York. When he moved his family to Florida…just like we all did…he passed the Florida Bar and works for a prestigous law firm here in town.
    Funny not one of you mentioned the Ethics complaint that Fleming is facing this week. Did you forget that he will be in Tallahassee this Friday to answer the charges against him? Did you forget the thousands of dollars in free membership to the Hammock Beach Club that he “forgot” (wink wink) to report to the State.
    As a Fleming friend and supporter, it is your decision to accept altered crime rates, civilians taking home marked police cars at taxpayers expense, a Sheriff who takes personal gifts without acknowledging them to the State as required by law, a Sheriff that needs to buy his employees by promoting everyone to a supervisory position just to keep their support, a Sheriff who allows employees to steal taxpayers money with the end result being the employee did not have to pay the money back and he got to keep his job, then vote for Fleming and remain the laughing stock of the State. Because as a friend of “Big Don” you can do pretty much anything you want while the rest of the citizens must do the correct thing.
    Let’s have the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office serve all the people of Flagler County and not just a select few. Jim Manfre will set the Sheriff’s Office back on the correct path and restore ethics to this agency that has suffered greatly.

    • Ray Thorne says:

      Does “short term memory loss” mean the long term memory is just fine? One deputy was investigated for possibly working a side business while on the clock but you say “deputies”. Grasping at straws….

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