Bunnell City Commissioner James “Jimmy” Flynt’s long, questionable summer is getting worse.
Last week the State Attorney’s office released a 35-page investigation showing Flynt at the center of numerous of allegations of serious misconduct, abuse of power and serial favoritism. (Two Bunnell police officers who favored Flynt’s Saxon’s Wrecker, a towing company in Bunnell, have been fired and face felony charges.)
Earlier this week, Flagler County Sheriff Don Fleming said he was suspending Flynt’s wrecking company “indefinitely” from the county’s towing rotation, which law enforcement agencies use and wreckers depend on to make a living.
In fact, the sheriff suspended Flynt’s company from the rotation on June 18, when the Bunnell Police Department’s Lt. John Murray and his wife, also a police officer in the department, were arrested on charges stemming from their allegedly feeding vehicles to Flynt’s company outside the rotation. On Aug. 16, Fleming sent a strongly worded letter to Flynt saying the sheriff’s office was “permanently removing Saxon’s Wrecker & Automotive from its towing rotation” in light of the state attorney’s report of the investigation.
There was further correspondence between the sheriff’s office and Flynt in mid-July, when Flynt was presumably attempting to return to the rotation. Referencing that exchange, the sheriff wrote Flynt this week, “the mere suggestion of impropriety in the FCSO’s dealings with an outside vendor/service-provider may potentially cause damage to the agency’s reputation. That there may be more than the ‘suggestion’ of impropriety in this instance causes me great concern regarding having future dealings with Saxon’s. Therefore, I have determined that Saxon’s will no longer be on the rotation list for the FCSO’s towing needs, effective immediately.”
The state attorney’s report alludes to Flynt needing extra towing jobs because he was short of money. In fact, Flynt was. Beginning in August 2007, he opened a line of credit with a Sun Trust, building up a debt of $49,905. Flynt did not repay the money which has been due since Feb. 12.
Being bumped off the rotation would only have exacerbated the difficulties. There are two other towing services in the county besides Saxon’s–Roger’s Towing and John’s Towing.
On Aug. 11, Sun Trust sued Flynt for the amount in Flagler County Circuit Court.
In his application for the loan in 2007, Flynt noted that Saxon’s had approximately $530,000 in annual sales while he drew an annual salary of $66,000. He lists his liabilities at $150,000, and his wife’s liabilities at $250,000. His net worth is unclear.
The state attorney’s case involving Flynt–and possibly others–is not over. The report released last week was merely the result of the investigation. Charges may still be filed.
Murray, meanwhile, who was the department’s evidence custodian, faces charges of cocaine possession and grand theft. The department–and the state attorney’s office–face difficult questions over many cases that may have been tainted by Murray’s handling (and alleged mishandling) of evidence.