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Dispelling Rumors, Bunnell’s Armando Martinez Says He’s Not Running for Sheriff Against Manfre

| July 24, 2013

When it comes to Armando Martinez, the rumors never stop. (© FlaglerLive)

When it comes to Armando Martinez, the rumors never stop. (© FlaglerLive)

Armando Martrinez, the former Bunnell police chief who became Bunnell’s city manager, was fired in June and was un-fired, if not yet quite rehired, this week, says he’s not interested in running for Flagler County Sheriff. Not now, anyway.

Jim Manfre (© FlaglerLive)

Jim Manfre (© FlaglerLive)

Manfre had heard of the rumor when asked about it Tuesday, and said he wasn’t concerned, being too busy focusing on running the agency. Manfre is only six months into a four-year term, though his election was close and his tenure so far has been rocky, with most of the transition he brought in to senior positions (including the head of investigation, the head of human resources and a commander) having resigned. Several senior staffers fired for various reasons (one of them a sergeant who misused sheriff’s office resources to conduct illegal database searches on people on Manfre’s staff). And internal reorganizations have defined most of the first six months.

Manfre has been speaking highly of Martinez since Martinez’s earliest days in Flagler County, in 2007, when he was a police chief. He was not surprised by the rumor, but not worried about a prospective race against Martinez, either.

On Wednesday, Martinez and Manfre met. Shortly after the meeting, Martinez put it categorically: “I am not running for sheriff and I am not interested in running for sheriff.”

Martinez says he’s heard the rumor every year, and has no idea why or how it gets started. When former sheriff Don Fleming was in office Martinez said he wouldn’t have run against him because Fleming was a friend of his. “And Manfre is a friend of mine, I wouldn’t run against him,” Martinez said.

Nevertheless, he hasn’t ruled out a run entirely. Martinez has always been a cop at heart. But he said a run for sheriff would take place only in the future, if he had nothing else occupying him.

OPn Monday, the Bunnell City Commission reversed itself on a 3-2 vote and agreed to negotiate a new contract with Martinez. His current contract expires in October. The commission, on a 3-2 vote, had opted not to renew the contract two months ago, essentially firing him when his term was up. But commissioners opposing Martinez drew public criticism and rebukes while a senior staffer of Martinez’s resigned, citing the commissioners’ action.

Two commissioners are up for re-election in March (Jenny Crain Brady, a Martinez supporter, and John Rogers, an opponent). The Martinez question may figure prominently in those races.

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12 Responses for “Dispelling Rumors, Bunnell’s Armando Martinez Says He’s Not Running for Sheriff Against Manfre”

  1. Charles Gardner says:

    Bunnell and Flagler County is an exciting place to live and work. There’s always drama. Let’s start a rumor that Brady and Rogers will have competition next election.

  2. Marissa says:

    That’s precisely the problem, we keep electing losers or in simple terms, we can’t see the forest for the trees’.

  3. Mr mondex says:

    John Rogers needs to run his questionable. Towing/ repair business stay. Out. Of politic ‘s he does not have the disposition to be a commissioner and Elbert tucker. Also needs to pack it in. ,Syd Crosby. Is and was the only stable politician this county ever needed I’ve been here 25 years and syd was the only talent needed to keep corruption and stability in this county he had a commen sence approach he called an ace an ace ,a professional approach to all. Matters and a people oriented person all the way around,please syd,where are you in a time of need????

  4. confidential says:

    I been living in this County for over 20 years and I know many residents and business owners and I never heard of such a rumor.
    Perfect answer from Martinez, because Sheriff Manfre is doing a great job now. Yesterday even my daughter said that to me…how quick our deputies respond to emergency calls, like yesterday in Palm Coast Parkway when a vehicular mortally injured deer was down in the pavement, tragedy just happened and already the deputies were there.. Also how safer we feel seeing our deputies cruising around the neighborhood. Now we call for drug deals and use around our city and the Sheriff properly investigates and bust the drug houses securing a better environment for our children and families. Aside from partisan egomaniacs lets keep our constitutional officials that are doing a good job!
    City of Bunnell as well will benefit, for keeping Martinez!

  5. Just Another Opinion says:

    Geewiz..I have nothing to do so I guess I’ll run for sheriff…

    What next?

    Hasn’t ANYONE figured out you NEED a person WITH a law enforcement background to RUN a law enforcement agency!

    All these wana B’s…..

  6. Girl says:

    Come on guys, there are no friends in politics the only truth is what I say now is not what I mean – or I don’t remember saying that, or I was misquoted – everyone is out for themselves and not the good of the people.

  7. Geezer says:

    Armando Martinez found fame (infamy?) in our slightly backwards county.
    He never got this attention in Miami, FL.
    Bunnell is such an unlikely destination for an upwardly mobile Cuban-American.

    How about some roast pork with rice and beans y’all? Some yuca and mojo too?
    My favorite dish! Afterwards, a nice cup of espresso! A cigar?

    Good luck Mr. Martinez. Thanks for dressing appropriately, unlike some in Mr. Roger’s neighborhood.
    Please inform Mr. Rogers where to buy a good suit.

  8. E.C.H. says:

    When Manfre was not Sheriff, he was an attorney. Rumor has it, he has made a considerable amount of money to some by suing the city of Palm Coast. He has said the city’s behavior disturbs him. He has help people sue them. But, as the attorney, didn’t he get paid hundreds of dollars an hour to do it? When you think about it, it could be a profitable relationship.

    But what should you do if you think a crime is being committed during shenanigans city employees are up to with your land, your home, or your business? What if they are making up false allegations and threatening thousands of dollars in fines if you don’t pay up or cow-tow to their heavy-handed and illegal demands?

    Have you ever felt like that was happening to you? Are you afraid to talk about it because of the potential repercussions it may have on your business or financial well-being? You are not alone, I’ve had people tell me they want to help us but if they speak out, it could cost them dearly with the city.

    The local prosecutor’s office will tell you to call the Sheriff’s office so they can investigate, but not so fast.

    In our case, protecting both his political and financial aspirations seemed to be more important than investigating if city employees had been asking for bribes or kick-backs, lying under oath, and trying to screw us out of $40,000.00+ and 3/4 of an acre in land.

    We got the door slammed in our face and the use of his office to try and make us look like we were crazy rather than investigating a thing:

    1. Manfre put O’Brien on the case. O’Brien said he was already aware of questionable behavior and promised to help us get to the bottom of it. He fired O’Brien three days later.

    2. The public record that is on file shows no record of an investigation. None of the evidence submitted was verified. No one was questioned.

    3. His Internal Affairs office was also “ordered” not to investigate when the Attorney General’s office suggested I have a legal right to ask for an investigation via that autonomous department designed by law to keep the cops honest.

    4. The Code Enforcement Board was also ordered not to accept evidence (as is required by law) and told me that if I spoke without being given permission to speak, I would be removed from the building.

    Why? What is there to hide?

  9. NOSTRADAMUS says:

    Hey E.C.H. Well Spoken for SURE, Go To FDLE, & The Buck STOPS There !!!!!! & Just Another Opinion How RIGHT YOU ARE !!!!! We Could Only Wish For a Bob Vogel or Ben Johnson as Our Sheriff Here in Mayberry RFD!!!! Our Veteran Officers, Clair, O’Brien, Plummer,Kicked to The Curb, The Beach is Doing The Same, Andy and Barney are Taking Heat & “Long Time Liz” (Det. Williams) May Be Next to Go if My Predictions Still Hold Ground ????Time for Some “VIDDLES” Ya’ll Come Back Now, Hear!!!!!!!!

  10. Kathy Davis says:

    Trust me, it won’t do any good to go to FDLE. They won’t investigate anything either, especially if Manfre or Martinez calls them and tells them not to. There have been a few situations in Bunnell that any reasonable person would have thought that FDLE would have taken care of; however, nothing is ever done. No proof, but I would bet the reason for that is the simple truth that cops stick together. Their brotherhood knows no boundrys. All it takes is for Martinez (and probably Manfree as well) to say to them, you don’t need to investigate this……..and, mysteriously, nothing but a hand slap.

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