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Supervisor of Elections’ Husband Duane Weeks in Threatening Altercation With Flagler Commissioner Meeker

| September 25, 2014

The NAACP holds its meetings in the large assembly hall of the African-American Cultural Society in Palm Coast, on U.S. 1, seen here in a file photo. When the Weeks-Meeker confrontation took place, Meeker was sitting in a back row of the hall. (© FlaglerLive)

The NAACP holds its meetings in the large assembly hall of the African-American Cultural Society in Palm Coast, on U.S. 1, seen here in a file photo. When the Weeks-Meeker confrontation took place, Meeker was sitting in a back row of the hall. (© FlaglerLive)

It happened Tuesday evening at an NAACP event at the African-American Cultural Society in Palm Coast, where Sheriff Jim Manfre was the scheduled speaker. Manfre was to speak about the unrest in Ferguson, Mo., following the police shooting of an unarmed teen on Aug. 9.

Flagler County Commissioner Frank Meeker was sitting toward the back of the large assembly hall, by himself, reviewing emails on his iPad before the beginning of the meeting.

Commissioner Nate McLaughlin was a distance away, speaking with Supervisor of Elections Kimberle Weeks and Pastor Sims Jones about election matters. Two deputies were in the very back of the room. Around that time, Duane Weeks, the supervisor’s 56-year-old husband, approached Meeker from behind and placed a hand on Meeker’s shoulder.

Suddenly, McLaughlin said, there was a commotion.

“He stood up,” McLaughlin said, referring to Meeker, “and what I heard in my assumption was a very frustrated tone of voice, turned around and looked at Mr. Weeks and said, ‘are you threatening me?’ at least twice. I turned, Pastor Jones turned around kind of quick, and oh, what happened there? It was kind of a surprising thing.”

The two deputies in the back of the room “were watching the situation, too,” McLaughlin said, but as soon as Meeker had raised his voice to ask Weeks if he was threatening him, Weeks walked away, McLaughlin said, and the situation was diffused.

Meeker would not speak of the incident. “I’m not overly concerned about anything that was going on, I just assume I’d let it go,” Meeker said. “I’m not a vindictive person. I don’t go looking for trouble.”

Frank Meeker. (© FlaglerLive)

Frank Meeker. (© FlaglerLive)

But Meeker did speak of the incident with several local former and current officials or prominent members of the community other than McLaughlin, including four who confirmed the incident as McLaughlin described it, adding details to what had led up to Meeker standing up.

“Frank told me his side this morning at the Eggs and Issues event,” Kimble Medley, a long-time critic of Kimberle Weeks who ran against her two years ago, said. “Frank was seated. Duane Weeks came up to him from behind and grabbed his neck, applying pressure. He bent down to ask Frank if he knew who he was. When Frank said, ‘you’re Kim Weeks’s husband,’ Duane Weeks said, and I am paraphrasing, ‘no one says that about my wife and if you do it again I’ll kick your ass.’ Frank asked if Duane was threatening him. Weeks then wanted to take it outside and that’s when Frank asked again, in a voice loud enough for the room to hear, are you threatening a public official?'”

Duane Weeks was referring to an offensive way Meeker had spoken about Kimberle Weeks during an offhand moment in an interview in mid-August, a remark for which Meeker then apologized, including an apology in a written statement.

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Bruce van Deusen, the insurance broker and financial consultant, who was at the meeting and spoke with Meeker afterward, described it as Medley did. “Both might want to downplay the event, but it did happen,” Van Deusen said. “As the speaker, Jim Manfre was there but way across the room.” He said the event was over before he saw Meeker sitting next to a sheriff’s deputy.

Another official to whom Meeker described the event said Meeker was threatened “a few times” before Weeks asked him to step outside, and after telling Meeker to “never call my wife the B word again.”

Under Florida law, it is a third-degree felony to threaten a public servant.

Reached at his office–Duane Weeks is a general manager at Hollar and Greene, the produce distribution company in western Flagler–Weeks was asked what had taken place with Meeker. “Not a thing,” Weeks replied curtly, and immediately hung up. Kimberle Weeks did not respond to a call or an email about the matter, though she had not been near the altercation. Later in the meeting, she addressed the assembly on election-related issues. Weeks has been in a stand-off with Palm Coast over questions of authority over the Palm Coast Community Center, which the city now provides to the supervisor to accommodate early voting.

Weeks has also been in conflict with the County Commission, most recently, as reported today in the Palm Coast Observer and last week by WNZF, over the taping of a conversation she carried out without the knowledge of the participants–County Attorney Al Hadeed and Commissioner Charlie Ericksen–which the county administration has termed “illegal.” She had been in various other conflicts with the county before the primary, alleging, without evidence, that the county was “interfering” with the election. It was in that context of roiling conflict and mounting frustration with Weeks that Meeker had uttered his offhand remark in August. George Hanns, the chairman of the Couinty Commission and a member of the county Canvassing Board, of which Weeks is also a member, has since questioned the integrity of the last election and pointedly criticized Weeks’s methods.

Linda Haywood, president of the NAACP, was getting ready for the event Tuesday evening but did not witness the altercation. She said she’d since become aware of it. “They did not make a scene, so however it was handled it was handled very quickly,” Haywood said. “I saw Kimberle standing in the back, she gave information about the ballot and the different districts that had multiple ballots or different ballots. I saw Meeker sitting next to sheriff’s deputy. That’s all I saw.”

Paula Priester, a sheriff’s office’s deputy and public information officer, had sat next to Meeker. She said she was unaware of a confrontation, and had sat there merely because it was an open seat. Meeker himself left the meeting as it was still unfolding, to make a prior commitment. He is running for re-election. He called it a “crazy election season” during a brief interview Wednesday. “It’s going to get worse.”

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27 Responses for “Supervisor of Elections’ Husband Duane Weeks in Threatening Altercation With Flagler Commissioner Meeker”

  1. Rob says:

    If anyone called my wife such a name a confrontation would be just the beginning, elected official or not.
    It would be me and him.

    A lot of me and very little of him, just not in public.

  2. rooster says:

    sounds like this woman needs to be gotten off/out of her position with all the bad press lately.All that we read lately is her rampant disreguard of position and most other officials are afraid of her for some reason.

  3. Robert Lewis says:

    I had enough of this crap!
    Enough is enough!

    First we have a supervisor of elections who has been performing her duties wrecklessly overt the last 4 years. Everytime you turn around she is in the news paper for being argumentative with someone. She have her employees bonuses then turns on the county commissioners.

    She picks a fight with everyone. She created these imaginary smoke and mirror to deflect attention away from her lack of leadership and inability to command respect. The truth is that she is a poor excuse of a human being and should have never been elected into office. Only time will tell when she is being led out of her office in handcuffs.

    Her efforts to team up with the Ronald Reagan Assembly is depolrable. They have become her greatest cheerleaders. It’s a sad state in Denmark when those who claim party purity rally around democrat and NPA for their own personal gain.

    The latest tactic of her husband to come into a public forum and make a threat on a county commissioner. He put his hands on Frank. Like what he said or not, he escalates the situation and physically threatened another human being. I am sure that Commissioner Meeker was well within his right to stand his ground. I applaud him for not attempting to escalate the situation.

    At the end of the day, people here are out of control. We have allowed our election system to be corrupted by an incapable elected leader. Her inability to perform her duties has created so mch animosity, that it is time to remove her from office. Wether it be by petition for an intervention from the governors office or intervention by the voters in the ballot box – one thing is for sure.

    Kim Weeks needs to go!
    Kim weeks needs to go!

    She is untrustworthy and by her own actions invalidates any legitimate authority she may believe she righteously earned.

  4. Steven Nobile says:

    I’m sorry I just need to vent. I guess everyone missed the part of the meeting where Linda Haywood, president of the NAACP, went on a tirade attacking myself, STEVEN NOBILE, with lies and misinformation. I was not in attendance but I was told by many there, that it was a war call against me and most of the data she presented was false. The only thing she got right is that I own a Gun Shop. Her lies/misinformation whatever you want to call it have been uncovered as false by Jonathan Simmons from the Palm Coast Observer.

    I have spent the last several months campaigning from the high road. I have not attacked any candidates personally and tried as best as I could to talk about how I am different and what my ideas are and avoided attacking my current opponent because he was ill.

    Linda Haywood did call me and sincerely apologize. However, the attack was personal, the hate was directed at me the person. I had planned on attending the meeting and was somehow informed of the wrong date (I thought it was Wednesday night). Somehow I believe it was God shielding me from this public attack.

    We are never going to grow or move ahead until we learn that the hate is killing us. You can disagree with me, you can hate my ideas, but you can’t hate me. I don’t hate you, never will. Love God, Love People, that’s where it all starts

    • Will says:

      The News Journal did say the meeting was Wednesday, at first. They corrected it on their website at 3:15 Monday, saying it was Tuesday. More than one person probably missed the meeting for that reason, especially if they kept the Sunday paper.

    • BLIngram says:

      Did Ms. Haygood say where she got this false information? IMO she owes you a big PUBLIC APOLOGY.

  5. fruitcake says:

    Its time for the Weeks to go… long overdue…stop the drama!

  6. Honky Tonk says:

    Jethro- You wanna take this outside and settle it like real men?

    Heathcoat- You talk’in me? Huh you talk’in to me?

    And the Pastor says- How about yal start in here and work your way outside! I’m getting my popcorn.

  7. Heading North says:

    You folks in Flagler County elected her (AGAIN)! So do something about it or stop your crying!

  8. Heidi Shipley says:

    I also did not see what went on regarding Mr. Meeker and Mrs. Weeks husband but I did hear the comments about Steve Nobile and it was very strong. When first asked if anyone knew Steve Nobile I raised my hand and then after hearing the comments was confused. I have been to the shop and never seen the sign. By the time I got home a friend had received the email saying it was incorrect. My concern was the number of people that were in the room that did not hear it was incorrect. I am glad you commented Steve and set it straight. I am also glad she apologized.

  9. Ralph Belcher says:

    While I could imagine the husband must of been mighty steamed to see this happen to his wife, I also feel this is a large lapse of judgement on Mr. Weeks’ behalf in confronting the commissioner.

    I think the commissioner didn’t want to esculate the situation, from what I’m reading here, but I think I would of had pressed charges. In no instance should our elected officials (and candidates) be threatened, coereced, or what have you. Those who threaten them should be dealt with in our justice system.

    I’m quite embarrased with the three ring circus in the SOE administration. There’s only one person that can put an end to all the calliope music streaming out of the SOE office. Kimberly, just pull the plug on the thing. Hold the elections in a fair and accurate manner and let’s get the heck over with this overly absurd,
    nauseating freakshow. Now.

  10. confidential says:

    By the way I a not voting for a coward that calls a lady SOE our elected constitutional officer the 4 letter word. Mr. Duane Weeks is correct that insulting incumbent commissioner needs his butt kicked… out of office too. These commissioners need to learn that they can’t step all over people’s rights.

  11. Jan Reeger says:

    Maybe Flagler citizens need to write some letters.

    Mailing Address:
    Department of State
    Division of Elections
    Director’s Office
    Room 316, R. A. Gray Building
    500 South Bronough Street
    Tallahassee, FL 32399-0250

    • Biker says:

      Every registered voter who feel they may have been disenfranchised by Weeks staff during the last primary election needs to file a complaint. How dare weeks blame the voters for being given the wrong ballots. What part of “Supervisor” does she not understand?

  12. MaryJo says:

    These people running really need to grow up. you’re going to lead us and our young people by example? I want no part of it. NO part of it. Grow the heck up.

  13. Mary says:

    “Paula Priester, a sheriff’s office’s deputy and public information officer, had sat next to Meeker. She said she was unaware of a confrontation, and had sat there merely because it was an open seat.”

    Hmmm….did this incident between Mr Meeker and Mr Weeks actually transpired? If so, I am truly flummoxed that a sheriff office deputy and PR officer who was sitting right next to him did not see or hear anything. If indeed the incident did occur and she was totally oblivious to it, then heaven help us poor citizens.

    On the other hand, if nothing happened this may be a case of vote solicitation.

    So which is it?

  14. carol bennett says:

    It is time that Meeker steps down before he is voted out.

  15. Root Cause says:

    The Root Cause of all the tension in this county is the RED LIGHT CAMERAS! Remove the cameras and everything will simmer down.

  16. Pigpen says:

    Another example of saying something derogatory in public and apologizing in private…it is easier to give an apology than to get permission,,,

  17. A.S.F. says:

    Elected officials who insist on acting like children in public…Just what we need to enhance our city’s reputation even more!

  18. Anonymous says:

    No surprise that this commissioner acted in the disrespectful manner he did. The commissioners have been very rude and unsupporative of the SOE for a long time.

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