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Supervisor of Elections Weeks and Ex-Candidate File Load of Ethics and Elections Complaints on 4 Commissioners

| December 12, 2014

Never done: Kimberle Weeks at a candidate forum when she was running for re-election two years ago. (© FlaglerLive)

Never done: Kimberle Weeks at a candidate forum when she was running for re-election two years ago. (© FlaglerLive)

Kimberle Weeks isn’t done with the last election. The Flagler County Supervisor of Elections teamed up with ex-county commission candidate Mark Richter to file ethics and elections complaints on four of the five county commissioners, who all got served this week starting Monday. The only commissioner spared was Barbara Revels, at least so far.

“It’s all misdemeanor baloney, and it’s all after the fact,” Commissioner George Hanns said, calling the actions a witch hunt. Weeks was not at a county employees’ Christmas breakfast this morning and was reportedly ill for the second day. “She’s rehashing the same issues and that attorney she hired from Orlando is just reaping in the reward, and it’s a shame because the county isn’t going to give her extra money to pay for this.” Rather, Hanns said, Weeks will have to cut other parts of her budget to pay her legal bills.

When asked in a public record request in early November for all documentation pertaining to her legal bills, Weeks, who had retained two attorneys at the time, replied with only one document, an engagement letter pertaining to one—Roberta Walton—even though the document itself stated that clients are billed on a monthly basis. Weeks had signed the document on Sept. 19. After a canvassing board on Nov. 19, Weeks said she had no other documents to give in response to the request.

“It’s kind of a sad day in Flagler County that it’s what we’re known for in Tallahassee, these continual ethics complaints,” said Revels, who faced an ethics complaint of her own earlier this year—unrelated to the elections, but filed by a member of the same group Richter is part of: the Ronald Reagan Republican Assemblies. “I hope the public understands that if it is uncalled for or unsubstantiated, it costs a lot of taxpayer money to get through these” as state and local officials and ad ministrations determine how to handle the complaints. “It takes time and effort away from you work whenever you have to go through the investigations and interviews, so it’s a big chore, and if it’s just witch hunt, I hope the public understands that it detracts from what we’d like to do.”

In mid-afternoon, Carl Laundrie, the county’s communications manager, provided the following statement: “We welcome an investigation by the proper authorities on ethics and the election process. It is one way to clear the air for the citizens of Flagler County. The accusations made by the Supervisor of Elections and others around her, are a rehash of groundless claims seeking to discredit the County Commission. Unfortunately this means a substantial expense of state and local tax dollars. We are confident that when all the facts are known we will be fine.”

Interviewed separately Friday, the four commissioners confirmed that they each got served: Frank Meeker, who now chairs the commission, got an ethics and an elections complaint initiated by Richter. Nate McLaughlin got two elections complaints and one ethics complaint initiated by Richter, who was McLaughlin’s opponent in the Republican primary for county commission. Hanns got an elections complaint initiated by Weeks. And Charlie Ericksen got an elections complaint and an ethics complaint, both initiated by Weeks. “There is nothing I see in these that’s any different than we’ve talked about up to this particular point,” Ericksen said.

Hanns and Ericksen had both served on the Flagler County Canvassing Board until Weeks, aided by Walton and Dennis McDonald, who had been Meeker’s primary opponent, maneuvered to get both removed form canvassing board service—Ericksen because he’d made a $25 donation to the Meeker campaign at a fund-raising dinner, Hanns because of his perceived endorsement of Meeker on a  campaign flier (the mistaken endorsement, deleted and corrected by Meeker, was done without Hanns’s knowledge, Hanns said). Revels ended up filling the county seat on the Canvassing Board.

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The ethics complaints were filed with the Florida Commission on Ethics. The elections complaints went to the Florida Elections Commission. None of the commissioners discussed the details of the complaints, which are not subject to open record laws pending each commission’s determination of whether there is probable cause to pursue them. The commissions will first decide whether to investigate (groundless complaints are often filed, or the agencies where they are filed have no jurisdiction to pursue the matter) before ruling whether there is cause to go further.

“This has turned personal, what’s happening here, and they’re grasping at whatever thy think they may find and whoever they may interpret the statutes, but it’s costing the taxpayers,” McLaughlin said. “Certainly if anybody sees something wrong they’re certainly welcome to it, it’s just suspicious in my mind that the supervisor of elections is involved in it across the board along with the group she’s affiliated herself with.” McLaughlin was referring to the Reagan assemblies.

Weeks has in the past several months been bitterly critical of County Attorney Al Hadeed and County Administrator Craig Coffey. As of Friday afternoon, Coffey had not been served, and it wasn’t clear whether Hadeed had been, though Revels was aware that he had received certified mail similar to what other commissioners received.

Without going into the details of the complaints pending legal review, all commissioners spoke of the complaints as rehashes of matters Weeks had brought up previously, such as Hanns’s perceived endorsement of Meeker, the correctness or incorrectness of a disclaimer on campaign literature by McLaughlin, and matters relating to a conversation Ericksen and Hadeed had, when they were outside a canvassing board meeting, but at the supervisor’s office. The supervisor is herself under criminal investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement as a result of having recorded the two officials without their knowledge, an act the county administration has termed illegal.

Ethics and elections complaints are civil, not criminal, and entail fines on conviction. But it isn’t just the convictions that blemish reputations: those who file them often hope that the mere act of filing complaints will reverberate enough to damage reputations, even if the subject of the complaints are subsequently exonerated. Weeks over the past several months has made numerous claims of collusion between commissioners and the county administration, at times involving Palm Coast government, to allege that the local governments were “interfering” with the election process or aiming to affect it one way or another, though Weeks never provided evidence to that effect other than to make circumstantial allegations based on how the city or the county were enforcing their own rules or local ordinances. County and city attorneys would assert the justness of their respective governments’ actions, to no avail in Weeks’s estimation.

Previously, in a protracted conflict with Palm Coast, Weeks claimed that the city had inappropriately or illegally changed its charter and ordinances when it switched from odd-year to even-year elections, and she at one point made her willingness to conduct Palm Coast’s 2014 municipal election contingent on her interpretation of the legalities surrounding the charter change. Several attorneys, including the one representing state association of supervisors of elections, sided with the city’s interpretation of the legalities, clearing the city of any wrongdoing. But by then, merely by stretching the conflict over time, Weeks has stirred up impressions, however false—and proven false by attorney after attorney—that Palm Coast had been somehow in the wrong. She then dropped the matter entirely when she ran out of new angles from which to tackle the city.

A similar strategy may be in play in this case, with the imprint of state agencies giving the complaints at least a perception of weight they would have otherwise lacked.

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22 Responses for “Supervisor of Elections Weeks and Ex-Candidate File Load of Ethics and Elections Complaints on 4 Commissioners”

  1. Ralph Belcher says:

    A story that plausibly could of been dispatched from “the Florida Department of Sour Grapes.”

  2. Bethechange says:

    Even the youngest of children know it’s wrong to pull the fire alarm when there’s no fire. Shame on all pot stirrers; they should be dealt with legally, swiftly & severely for the costly havoc the wreak. But alas, they walk amongst us.

  3. steve miller says:

    At this point I hope she realizes that she will never get re-elected ?

    • The Truther says:

      Steve how can you judge someone when you do no know what is and has been going on for years with the SOE and Coffey. “never judge a man until you walk a mile in his moccasins”.

  4. sw says:

    Sounds like She and Pam Biondi are buddies

  5. Ron says:

    SOE and the Reagan’s continue to waste taxpayers dollars. When will the Governor remove her for all these travesties. A new year and it is time for a new SOE.

  6. Edman says:

    When these complaints are found baseless and dismissed, I hope the parties involved can and will sue Ms. Weeks for their legal costs. Perhaps when she has to pay out of her pocket for these frivolous filings she will just quietly do her job until we can elect a responsible adult to be Supervisor of Elections.

    • fcso deputy says:

      That’s was what they said when people filed ethics complaints against the sheriff of Flagler county….and the last sheriff of Flagler county…both had multiple ethics violations. The truth is that Flagler county is full of dirty and corrupt political officials. Thank god that people can file these complaints. Its called checks and balance.

  7. Jim O says:

    This lady is doing nothing but taking up space. She is completely useless and provides no value to our county. Stop giving her ink. She loves reading about herself.

  8. Citizen says:

    If rules or laws were broken then complaints need to be filed. George Hanns makes it sound as though because it is over with it’s not to be looked at. Looking back at previous writings he also cries “witch hunt” and tries to make it look like the SOE is wasting tax dollars in an effort to make her look bad. He and the other 4 commissioners spend millions and millions of our tax dollars and not always with good reason or wisely. The commissioners are responsible for calling state officials in here to observe the last election and that was an expense we tax payers had to bear. Elections have been good in our county and considering all the people Weeks has to work with in doing her job I can’t help but wonder why it is only the commissioners, county attorney and county administrator she is having a problem with–maybe the problem isn’t with the SOE but with them. For two county commissioners to be bumped off the canvassing board the last election tells me they are doing something they shouldn’t be. I commend our elections supervisor for standing up for what is right. I can’t believe she is in with the Ronald Reagans when she filed complaints against Democrats and Republicans alike. I see it as she is neutral and fair and wants no more of the same and is doing something about it. George Hanns has to realize he should follow the rules and laws and stop denying he didn’t know this or that in an effort to escape consequences. It is sad to read that the supervisor hired an attorney to see that the election laws were followed because the couunty attorney silently watched and failed to do his job as the canvassing board attorney. No wonder the supervisor sees the need for a private attorney.

    The Ethics Commission and Elections Commission are there to hold those like George Hanns accountable and are in no way a waste of our tax dolars. Any fines collected are paid from personal funds which help operate these agencies. We learned that from Commissioner McLaughlin when he was fined by the Ethics Commission a few years ago. Now we can only wonder what else is out there that hasn’t been uncovered and been made known.

    • Fred says:

      Look what they were “bumped” off the board for…. give me a break. Kimmy needs to be held responsible for her actions. Look at the money and time she is wasting. Flagler Beach could have easily paid for a firetruck they don’t need with the money that our dear Kimmy has wasted. I think the majority of people in the county are looking forward to Kimmy being gone.

    • The Truther says:

      You all are talking about what this is costing the tax payers. Let’s look at what the
      commissioners are doing. Craig Coffey wants a ten percent increase in his pay and
      an extension in his contract to 2019. The County Commissioners work for us. We all
      Should be at that meeting when they make up their minds to give him the increase.
      Do you all realize Coffey Only handles 20% of the county, Landon handles the other 80%.

      • Fred says:

        Then to fix it vote them out of office. Stop with the BS and wasting of money on all this crap Kimmy is bringing up. Hiring additional lawyers, introducing her “notes” / minutes of the meetings that have been shown time and time again to be BS and self serving. If you don’t like the commissioners vote them out.

    • Jack says:

      Pierre himself has said this woman runs good elections and pays attention to detail. This is all sounding like someone got the whistle blown on them and they don’t like it. Why is the county administrator and board of county commissioners filing requests with the state for the state to over see the election when the General Election rolled around, but they didn’t do the same during the Primary? Sure sounds like sourt grapes on their part for getting exposed. Do they police other offices and conduct themselves in such a manner? Since when did it become their place to monitor and report the supervisor of elections? it is surely concerning that this is going on and that the county is making false claims against our elections supervisor because they have not produced anything to support their claim against her, and the press is in collusion with them. I looked back at some of the stories written and then took time to look up Florida Statute 101.58 and the county administrator or the board of county commissioners don’t even have the authority to request of the the states presence to oversee the elections. That statute specifically identifies who has the authority to make the request of the state…how come no one is asking questions? Since when did the county administrator get a law degree and become qualified to throw Florida Statutes around? You don’t supposed they knew the statute didn’t apply and county attorney Hadeed kept his name off the request for a reason do you?

  9. Mike says:

    Once she is removed from office I hope she can no longer get a county job. Ms. Weeks and her husband need to pack their bags before they further embarrass themselves or the county. Talk about two good old Bunnell people thinking they are special, well Ms. Weeks the only special thing about you and your family are that you all act like fools in public. Do you really believe that as the SOE now you are important, it is an elected position and you ran on a platform that got you elected, my point is you have no special skill set or education to put you there. You are as bad as the Sheriff, no skills, just another greasy politician who is in office for the salary and benefits. Do your job and stop looking like a jack-ass in public.

  10. attila says:

    The witch is back, famous quote from the past..

  11. confidential says:

    Kudos to Citizen for displaying the truth on our “anti fraud” SOE Mrs Kimberle Weeks.
    She acts with total honesty as well as all the poll workers and for that they are insulted by FCBOCC then chair Hanns, their administrator Coffee and their Attorney Hadeed.
    You are correct they waste millions of our taxes in frivolous calls to the FDLE investigation and also the state to monitor our elections and done, right after Mr. Sullivan Chair of the local REP Party spoke so highly in a canvassing board meeting of the honest process reported to him by all his poll watchers assigned to all the primaries election precincts in this county. Stop accusing the SOE of any and non existent collusion with any political affiliation. She is correct in her ethics complaints.
    Since Weeks was elected we have an SOE that works hard for our ” ballots to count”. Can someone tell me why all our 2006 ballots were destroyed but none of the prior years ballots were and this was done right before SOE Weeks was sworn into office? That is what the FDLE should be investigating along Attorney’s Hadeed and commissioner Ericksen 3rd degree felony. The DOJ should be allover this county investigating these real state deals also overpaid with our tax funds besides the intended illegal manipulation of our elections by the current city and county government officials. Why the county delays the check to be cut for the SOE, funded by our tax dollars when she has employees payroll’s and contractors and suppplies to pay to. Why are the City of Palm Coast officials still giving her a hard time interfering with “never before and now required permits” for her to be able to prepare the precincts within Palm Coast for the incoming special elections? Here something for Nobile and Shepley to look into.
    One only reason for all this is that with the current SOE they can’t control or micromanage our elections like the used to before she took office and for that are on the never ending offensive! Can we expect any less than a then incumbent and now seated commissioner Meeker calling her a 5 letter (B) name? Only in this county can you get away with this and keep on attacking her.

  12. Citizen says:

    If the law was broke, yes it needs to be handled correctly. But, who is Mark Richter, the man who can’t tell the truth to save his life to file against anyone. Dang, Kim is just adding more and more to her reputation, and Mark, is just doing what Dennis McDonald tells him to, because he’s to stupid to do it his self. What a joke. People need to just move on, get a life.

  13. carol bennett says:

    Great going Ms. Weeks, time to clean up Flagler county gobernment!!!
    And Nate, your wrong action cost the tax payer money!!! Not the clean up!!!

  14. JimBob says:

    More flatulence from the Ronald Reagan Rectal Rehydrationists. Has a nice ring doesn’t it?

  15. Mark Richter Jr says:

    Everyone that is slamming my father for ethics and elections complaints can apologize to him personally for making baseless assumptions because I am the one who filed the complaints.

  16. Mark Richter Jr says:

    P.S. I am not a member of the Ronald Reagan Assembly either…I just hate crooked politics…Merry Christmas!!

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