Since last fall the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office and its employees have been wrestling with the effects of what could be a sick building at the sheriff’s operational headquarters in Bunnell. Four employees were initially affected. More than two dozen have since filed related workers’ compensation claims.
Earlier this week Sheriff Rick Staly, in letters to his employees and to the county administrator, detailed the severity and extent of the problem and demanded that the county provide immediate alternatives where affected sheriff’s employees may be moved. The county has yet to issue a formal response, saying that one is forthcoming and that some further analytical measures are in the works.
The county is responsible for the sherif’s facilities, essentially placing the sheriff and his employees at the county’s mercy. The sheriff’s letters earlier this week reflect significant frustration with the county’s responsiveness. The county conducted a pair of analytical studies last fall and remediation of two affected areas, but after affected employees were returned to the building–they’d been allowed to work from the old portion of the jail meanwhile–problems reemerged, then began affecting many more employees.
Until now, the employees’ perspective has been reported only second-hand, while the sheriff’s office has projected a relatively cohesive, supportive response to employees’ concerns from the beginning. While the sheriff’s letters this week clearly point in that direction, that may not have been entirely the case previously, as a lengthy letter Detective Annie Conrad wrote the sheriff and two other members of his executive team two months ago: Conrad writes apprehensively and in fear of severe consequences against her or others, and reveals what she perceived as some inappropriate responses to the crisis. She also writes with a sense of desperation in hopes of making an impact on the sheriff and his top two executives–Undersheriff Jack Bisland and Chief Mark Strobridge.
Conrad, who last month was named the Flagler County Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, is among the more severely affected employees. She’s been on family medical leave for weeks, and her job as a detective has been in question: she refuses to re-enter the Operations Center in Bunnell, and to provide her with “reasonable accommodations,” she may be re-assigned to road patrol when she returns, which would amount to a demotion.
Conrad appears to have gone out of her way to limit her letter’s audience to its three intended recipients: she did not email it but delivered it in paper form to the three, presumably hoping to keep it from being electronically disseminated or easily uncovered as a public record: her intention was not to embarrass the leadership but to impress on the sheriff the urgency of the problem, which she felt was not being taken as seriously as it should.
The letter also points to the tensions and misunderstandings behind the scenes to a degree never reported until now.
In an email this evening, Strobridge said the sheriff took the letter seriously and personally responded to her by phone, assuring her that he wanted to resolve the situation.
“Detective Conrad’s letter was received the end of April and the month between the time of her letter and the letter from the Sheriff to the County the Sheriff met with the County Administrator several times on this issue, to the point of frustration that caused him to write the letter,” Strobridge said. “We are dependent on them to provide proper and safe facilities. Sheriff Staly’s letter is the catalyst that has caused the Board Of County Commissioners to change the agenda for Monday’s workshop meeting and special County Commissionmeeting to deal with the building issues. Without his efforts, there would still be just a lot of talk.
“During the time of the testing and initial remediation as I received reports and updates from the County, I put them on the agency intranet that could be accessed by agency personnel and made direct notification to all individuals as I uploaded reports received from the County. This effort was to keep the members of the agency informed as to the County’s progress. As you have written in the articles, we are tenants in this building and Sheriff Staly continuously work to get the issues resolved.”
Strobridge said that “In reviewing the facts it is obvious that It was not Detective Conrad’s letter that caused the Sheriff to take action. He was already taking action and had been.”
FlaglerLive obtained the letter as part of the documents in an internal affairs investigation we had requested. The internal investigation was triggered by a few lines in the Conrad letter alleging that Cmdr. Steve Brandt had made inappropriate comments while “brainstorming” about employees’ rashes and illnesses: he had joked that the three employees suffering from skin conditions, including Conrad, another detective and a commander, may have shared the same sexual partner. All three women involved in the matter agreed that Brandt, a long-time employee with a solid record, was not being malicious or ill-willed, that it may have been an inelegant joke, and that none felt targeted: Brandt has never been inappropriate in the workplace previously.
Conrad had not requested the investigation, which was instigated internally–itself a reflection of the Staly administration’s consistent willingness to look internally at any missteps no matter who’s involved or what the consequences may be: the Conrad letter was included in the investigative record, and as such, the administration was aware it would draw attention and be potentially published.
Brandt was disciplined over his statement (he was suspended without pay for three days even though the policy he violated calls for just one day’s suspension) and acknowledged in a memo to Bisland that “as an executive member of staff I am held to a higher standard. I also understand that as a member of executive staff that a higher level of discretion is to be utilized when engaged in conversation with employees.”
The more revealing document in the investigation is Conrad’s letter, which is reproduced below as she wrote it.
Dearest Sheriff Staly, Strobridge, and Bisland,
I am choosing to send these personal letters to all of you in this fashion because I promise you no one else knows the contents of it. Please feel free to throw them away after reading them. I have just been shut down every time I wish to speak with any of you because of chain of command or making things worse. If I get in trouble for this I will totally understand, but my mental health is more important to ine at this moment and expressing my true feelings and dispelling several rumors is worth the punishment if it’s necessary.
I have tried really hard to put myself in your positions and realize you can’t accept there is anything truly wrong with the building. From an outsider and especially someone that is affected, I just keep repeating to myself that it’s baffling that no one sees the totality of the situation and the fact that a lot of their good people have come up sick/affected and the only commonality is the. workplace. I also know when you’re not affected it’s difficult for you to understand, but imagine if it was your wife or daughter and now their lives may be forever changed because of a situation no one is willing to recognize. That’s why I’m not looking for a response from any of you, but begging you to simply hear me out as a person who has dedicated their entire life to serving and taking care of others in this county and even more, a team player for this team. Maybe the small town mindset is what makes all this so hard for me.
I truly hope you will take the time to read this though; Let me start by dispelling a few rumors;
1) I do NOT have Ill intentions: The day I met with Bisland and spoke from my heart in reference to my concerns, it was never meant to start a war. Please understand my mindset, I am extremely sick, absolutely terrified, and all I was asking for is support from the people I work for to find out why we were all getting sick and to take it serious. I thought I made that crystal clear. I’m scared not only for me, but for everyone else who won’t speak up.
I know you allowed me to go off site, but the place you have us working now is torturing. The room is like being in an airplane. I’ve bought air quality plants, made a homemade air purifier, and still had to work out of my car the other day because the air was so stagnant. But I don’t mind working out of my car and problem solving, but again that is not as easy for others. I know the county is doing what they feel they NEED to do to cover their butts, but if we truly want to find out the problem it takes team work (like anything else). The county should not be interpreting the reports, the company writing the report should speak directly to you guys because it’s your people at risk if there is a problem.
[Flagler County Facilities Director] Heidi Petito sat right in the large meeting that day and completely gave out wrong information which was clearly written in the report provided by Richard. The fact that the HVAC system wasn’t working properly is HUGE piece of the puzzle and she argued it was. Richard’s company should be at the meetings explaining it in a way we can understand and be available for questions. Just because we get tests back that are acceptable to most we just ignore the fact that people are sick. It was real easy for Brandt to simply tell me to go back to patrol the very first time I expressed my concerns, because that’s what we do here. Get rid of the loud one and then let the others ones suffer and learn to keep their mouth shut. I’ve never not fought for my team and I’m not trying to fight with anyone, but simply remaining open with everything with what is happening with me with my sickness and the medical findings.
2) I do NOT think I am a mold expert: If you experience the symptoms that I have, you are forced to become very interested and make it a priority to research and figure it out, just as if I was a diabetic, or any other illness that requires special care. I spoke with Richard from H2H in the beginning because he IS an expert. I would take every chance I had to share our symptoms, and pick his brain, because I do think the medical aspect is a HUGE piece of the puzzle. He is a very passionate person when it comes to his job and I consider him extremely professional. I also asked him, being in the field if he knew of a doctor that specializes in mold exposure.
It took me a month to get an appointment with the doctor he suggested, which cost me $843.00 for the 5 hour visit. She required all my medical paperwork in prior to my visit so she would be prepared. She reviewed all the mold reports that I’ve received from the building and wrote a long letter explaining the health risks of not getting out of the potential exposure area. This was not to be a pain in the butt or to stir things up. I even previously put Richard from H2H as someone who could have copies of all my medical paperwork, lab results, and findings to compare with his findings in hopes of narrowing in on the problem. This has obviously been interpreted by you all as something completely different, and for the most part labelling me “the villain.
The County will no longer talk to me, Richard will no longer talk to me. My lifelong friend Mike Dickson will no longer talk to me. In the beginning he was even going to ask his wife to help figure it out because she has medical training and is very smart. All because people think I have Ill intentions all of a sudden and all I want to do is solve the problem so we can all be safe. I will be more than happy not to talk to Richard again, but I beg you to let him see the medical findings. The problem is, the less people talk, we see the more that is hidden. Next door is a prime example. We know there is asbestos next door. We know they saw it, everyone is talking about it, and no one is looking out for people’s welfare. That is just not the type of person I am and I have a very difficult time understanding it.
3) There are so many rumors floating around; we brought stuff from our houses, Jenn gave me Shingles, Brandt even asking Nicole if she slept with a guy that Jenn and I slept with. Joke or not, all I can say is wow. I know in Law Enforcement we all joke around, but it would be different if you joked and then looked out for your people. But he’s obviously the driving force to making them come back into the building. You guys are closer to Nicole and you well know her situation as a single mom.
She can’t afford to seek the expensive treatment and diagnostic stuff that I have and I’ve brought it all back to share with her and others affected in hopes they can be treated properly. I’m not only sinking in debt at this point, but I have the mental strain that if I share all this info I will be put on a black list and lose my job. The exposure that I have is throughout my body and very severe.
I was able to lead Nicole to a cheap test online that is an eye test to test for different illnesses including Bio toxin Illness and she was positive for that and two other illnesses. She will go back in the building when ordered because she doesn’t feel she is at a point in her life and her career that she can lose her job. That is so sad! She will sacrifice her health and get even more infected because a piece of paper says there is nothing wrong and no one stands up for her. How do we know we are even testing for the right stuff if we don’t know what are people are infected with?
I go back April 27th for a follow up and get my culture and blood work results. This will tell me exactly what I am infected with. I am currently showing presence for 3 out of 4 mycotoxins, the levels still need to be interpreted at my follow up, however 2 out of the 3 cause cancer. This stuff is no joke! I am absolutely terrified.
One of the biggest struggles in all of this is the mental torture for a few reasons. The fear of never getting better, and never being normal again. The fear of losing the job that I love. I definitely cannot afford to lose my health insurance at this moment either. The struggle with depression is real! I fight it every day and pray hard for God to give me strength.
I’m not sure where I will be able to go without being able to go back in the building but whether it’s the schools, the courthouse, or patrol I have no doubt I will continue to do the best job I can do because I love working for the people and doing the right thing. It’s in my heart and soul no matter how people treat me.
I live by my life verse Luke 6:38 “Give, and it shall be given unto you”. When I begin to get discouraged by the people around me, I remind myself you too are children of God and then I see people in a different light.
Commanders from every unit have welcomed me into their Division if needed because they know I give 110% no matter what and they are prepared to help me work around the fact that I may have to do things a little different to avoid the building. I just hate that I will ultimately being punished for getting sick, and trying to look out for others by looking like the absolute trouble maker. And honestly one of the hardest parts is to leave the others stranded not being able to voice their opinions and concerns because they are scared to get “black listed” so to say.
My asthma has went away since I left the building, but my body has an overgrowth of fungus/yeast. I’m currently on approximately 12 different medications right now, some being very costly. Jenn and I can swing it for now, but Nicole cant. We look back on how supportive everyone was for Watkins, and realizing there is a fund to help deputies in times like this and nothing is ever offered.
And I’ll finish with this, and it’s not to feel sorry for myself because I feel God walks me through things for a reason, but since the day I literally spilled my guts on the table for Bisland NONE of you have EVER asked how I am doing. I was even in the hospital last weekend due to complications of this whole mess and no one has ever reached out. And I know Brandt was notified. It’s just hurtful, especially because we are all on the same team and it feels we serve and protect everyone else but not our own sometimes.
I apologize if you think anything I said is out of line and I truly thank you for allowing me to vent and express myself. I have provided these to just you with no one else having knowledge in hopes of not causing further damage with anything and getting anyone else in trouble besides myself.
Thank you for your time and God Bless,
Don’t worry, Flagler County taxpayers will make it right! Right?
This is very sad and also disgusting how this woman was treated or shall I say ignored .. this is beyond understanding how an agency is willing to overlook an issue just to project a picture that the agency is cohesive … this man (Staly) should be ashamed of himself and so should bisland and the top 2 in charge of protecting their deputies … there’s no excuse for this. There’s no excuse for her supervisor Brandt to act the way he did and only be suspended 3 days and allowed to return to still be in charge I don’t give a rats ass if he did 30 years with no record.. he obviously is unfit to lead and regardless if they thought he didn’t mean any harm they were soaring him out of fear …he should have been charged with sexual harassment and does not deserve to be a chief over investigations but like she said that’s what they (agency) do… NOW IT MAKES TOTAL SENSE WHY STALY IS ALLNOF A SUDDEN NOW TRYING TO ACT LIKE HE IS FIGHTING FOR HIS PEOPLE … you go back and read his letter and compare it to hers it shows you he didn’t give a damn before he was concerned about his image in the community and could care less about her health truly he’s always grand standing with dumb ass political stunts and news releases … he has released probably 50 news releases since she first came to them and he mentioned nothing of her health concern or this issue .. too busy trying to a tough 70 year old western gun slinger while his employees are hurting and scared to come forward in fear their immediate chain of command will suppress their concerns which we now see happened … shame on bisland because he’s out their to petite to those beneath him if I was them and the union I would refuse to walk in that building for anything and I would definitely start soliciting lawyers because every employee that has walked in that building g or sat in that building deserves to be a part of a class action law suit …Flagler county sheriffs office is pathetic and I hope we all remember this come election time but more so remember this when we see this man get I. News and pretend everything is ok…
Coffey went on vacation so we’ll have to wait for the leader of Flagler County to return. When returns after spending all our money then and only then he’ll get back to you. What a bunch of bs. What are our elected officials doing about this mess? They’re probably hiding under their desk.
David S. says
Flagler County Commission,FSCO,Sheriff Rick Staly I hope you read this article. I really feel sorry for Det Conrad I believe her 100%. Average citizens go through this every day through out this country . You people need to step and step up now and do your damn job. Destroy that building now and start over and provide medical care and other benefits to those who have been effected by this…….
History repeats. says
Jack Bisland and Rick Staley both knew about this for a long time. They both are retired and earning several retirement paychecks. They protect themselves by adding layers of cronies that they can blame but in reality they only are out for them selves. Especially you Bisland. You will be held accountable for how you treated us. Shame.
This is crazy. I feel bad for her, and all of those affected. Seems to me like the Sherriff should want his employees to feel comfortable, and not threatened, by voicing their concerns, over any issue they have, especially one of this magnitude. I think he said at one time, I have you’re back, but you got to have mine. Was that just political BS? I really hope some changes are made, starting with the ones running the show. Seems to me , that only happens when they are called out on their actions. Too little, too late per. say. Hopefully the residence of Flagler County will remember this come election time…
Just The Truth says
This is horrible how the county is treating one of their own employee’s. Why would the county not take a long time devoted employee’s illnesses seriously and handle it first hand and more quickly? These employee’s need to hire a very good lawyer and I would bet the county officials will move to correct that building. And the money the county paid to fix that building up, they should have done it correctly and just build a new building or move into the many empty buildings in this county and we know there are plenty of those, just drive around and see all the empty spaces. The county should ashamed of themselves. Why do the officials in the county collecting very nice paychecks at taxpapers expense move like turtles to get things done around here? You all need to think about these individuals that didn’t ask to get sick, but got sick because you all have ignored their cries for help and RESPECT.
ANON: It’s nice to sit nameless on a keyboard and just spout off about Brandt. I encourage you to look up the definition of sexual harassment. I know Brandt to be a true, strong and caring leader. Staly’s inaction and refusal to take the building problems seriously is the real problem here. NOTHING happens in that office without his approval. NOTHING.
Perfect solution. Have the members of the Flagler Council have their offices housed in this building, see how they like it.
Double standard at work. It’s funny how a corporal was recently disciplined for a non malicious off color comment and northeastern being passed over for promotion. While Brandt gets a slap on the wrist but continues to be “chief” of his division. This Sheriff just does and says what he wants. Morale is at an all time low. Nero fiddled while Rome burned.
Todd S. says
Annie… get an attorney. This is a violation of HIPPA….
Jane Gentile-Youd says
Anonymous has the right idea but we cannot blame commissioners who took office after the dump was purchased .
Only 2 commissioners remain today – Charlie Ericksen who voted NO and the admitted Asbestos expert good ole’ Nate McLaughlin who voted YES. He even promised during the morning workshop on May 6, 2013) devoted citizen, Jack Carroll, that the building will not have asbestos if the county buys it !
Let’s transfer Coffey and McLaughlin over to the infected dump..and give these deserving county employees a decent ‘environment’t to work in – Coffey’s current section of the 3rd floor gov’t services building
If Coffey QUITS because he says he is sick from working in the dump and is unable to work. we save $78,000 of our precious tax dollars. He only gets that if he is canned by the commission but still able to work.
I wonder how may medical experts can be hired for our sick employees with $78,000.!.
Once again – send those bills to Nate McLaughlin as well- he bragged about the asbestos expert he is the day he voted YES – May 6, 2013.
My heart goes out to everyone, and their loved ones, who has suffered and continue to suffer physically, emotionally and mentally in addition to financially, as a result of the revolting greed, selfishness and utter disrespect for anyone other than themselves ( that is my opinion).
I believer that given the way it is described it has become a safety issue. As such an employee can refuse to continue to come to work under a unsafe situation. If the county should come after the employee for refusal to work in unsafe conditions or attempt to punish or on any way asses discipline to the employee there are a bunch of lawyer that would aid in protecting the employees rights
I Know says
TATOWN, Brandt should be written up for such a comment and if you’re a member of the sheriffs office I question your character in defending what he said. It’s not the first time he’s created rumor or gossip, he’s just one of the few who have been protected.
Pat Patterson says
It is a shame that the employees that are ill are not being taken care of properly. I have seen the health issues “sick buildings” can cause on humans. Lifelong medical issues can result. I suggest any employee affected by this building secure an excellent attorney outside of Flagler County to deal with this issue. The problems caused will not go away on their own. If the County continues to minimize the problems, and ignore the employees medical conditions, a lawsuit may be the only re-course.
The County Administrator has to go. Wake up Commissioners.
L H says
For 7 years, I compiled list after list of all of the sick children and adults with their diagnosed illnesses and submitted it to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Department of Education. I was ignored. When the lease for the building came up, (after 2 people had died of leukemia and 2 children had been diagnosed with brain cancer) the NYC Department of Education suddenly found a toxic substance in the air and blamed it on the custodian’s snow blower being stored in the hallway following a snowstorm. Even though the school still checked positive every week thereafter for 6 months, the DOE kept this little bit of information to themselves. In July, all of sudden, the school had to be shut down indefinitely and the plans were to put the students in all different schools so the parents could NOT communicate and coordinate with one another. All of a sudden, the DOE and the DOH were blaming the staff and the nurse (me) for not notifying them of the problems. The air handler had not worked in the school for 3 years prior and was on the emergency list to be repaired. In addition, this school had been located in a former manufacturing plant. When the city finally had meetings with the parents, the lies, the lies, the lies abounded. Does this all sound familiar?
Tami Padilla says
How incredibly sad that the health and well being of those hired to provide our safety is not a priority for the county or city of Palm Coast. To think it is ok to treat a senior (Or junior) member of your TEAM in this manner is deplorable. A employee should not have to worry about their health and how they cover treatment for an illness that was caused by working in unsafe building. Officer Conrad is a highly dedicated and important asset to FCSO she is a very valuable person not only to FCSO, her community but also to her family and friends. Please Flagler County make this a priority to provide safe working conditions for those who protect and serve. My prayers to those officers affected by this illness….. and to those who are getting sick but don’t show signs yet. Rick Staley thank you for standing up for your comrades, if you need help let everyone know what we can do to support you and your LEO’s
As an ex-employee of FCSO, I can safely say that this mindset has been around for a long time. Its in the management positions, not only the Sheriff. As far as the Flagler commissioners and Mr. Administrator is concerned, they wont respond. Go to the EPA, Annie and see how fast things happen. You might was well sue them while your at it because your name is forever tarnished. I hope and pray everyone stays safe and healthy. I will be praying for you.
It is a mystery to me why the board of county commission (past and present members) has ever allowed this to happen. They knew the building contained asbestos, they had the responsibility to do all the boring and testing prior to voting on the purchase or before occupying the building with county workers, and apparently they failed miserably. Their employee, Craig Coffey failed them miserably. A report was done before the purchase of the building and it has been said that it was only provided to Craig Coffey when other employees were interviewed. The board of county commission are ultimately responsible, they cannot delegate their responsibility. With this being said Craig Coffey and past and present board of county commissioners are to be held accountable and it appears that they board of county commissioners are completely ignoring the fact that this is their problem and they allowed this to happen. Their negligence and their arrogance has affected peoples lives and well being. There were sections of this purchased building that were torn down and not Sheriff employees but employees of the board of county commission that are directed by Craig Coffey and his department heads were not provided protective gear or warned that they were being put at risk before they were directed or ordered to do a job that no BOCC meeting reflects was ever approved to have been done—an asset that we tax payers paid for was demolished and disposed of–thousands of square feet of our purchased building. How county the county commissioners be OK with that when that is part of our county inventory and assets and it just disappeared? The problems with the Sheriff Operations Center were evident most all of 2017, they didn’t just come to light once Staly took office. I am sick and tired of Staly trying to throw this on Manfre too. Bottom line is Staly was in coohoots with Coffey and realized that it wasn’t one or two people that they could force in to shutting up-the problem is much more wide spread. Staly should be removed from office and also be held accountable for his negligence. He was the under sheriff under Manfre, he knew of the problems and even admits he advocated against the purchase of the old hospital. Because Staly knew all this so far in advance, why has it taken so long to contact the county and write Craig Coffey that letter? Yes, Staly, you are just as guilty as Craig Coffey and the past and present board of county commissioners. The one commissioner that should be immediately arrested is Barbara Revels for using her public position for her business associate Bruce Page (part owner of the old hospital property sold to the county) to personally benefit. Now, that draws in the county attorney Albert Hadeed, who is grossing approximately $225,000 of our tax dollars annually. Hadeed had the responsibility to inform all of the risks and had the responsibility to caution then Commission Barbara Revels of her violation of the law of voting on the measure. Again, Albert Hadeed is an employee of the board of county commissioners, so no matter how you slice it, the board of county commissioners are responsible. So all in all, Hadeed is grossing roughly $225,000 annually, Coffey grossing approximately $179,000, and each commission grossing approximately $50,000 each annually and millions of our tax dollars were spent on this building and demolishing part of it, and we have to probably pay for law suits/settlements and for the health care of individuals who have illnesses (some maybe even long term or with the possibility of premature death, all because we have elected officials who are irresponsible and apparently have no regard for those who work for them. And to top it off we have a State Attorney RJ Larizza who is sitting on his hands while he rakes in nearly a quarter million dollars a year with his benefit package and he is not investigating and taking action against those who have used their political positions for personal gain and demonstrated malfeasance and misfeasance, but he involved himself in prosecuting our former elections supervisor over something that was written in the newspaper–a witch hunt because she too was continually exposing what was going on in local government. She told the city of Palm Coast they could revise their charter in 2011 by placing a ballot referendum on a primary election ballot, they did it anyway and got away with it. Why, so Jon Netts’ term would be extended another year because his term of office was up after the 2011 Primary Election. Had they put the referendum on the General election ballot Netts would have already been out of office and his term would not have been able to be extended. It is convenient how the media failed to report that to us though isn’t it! Instead they reported how Weeks was a nut job and didn’t follow the advice of Albert Hadeed and the city of Palm Coast attorney. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to read Section of the city charter and look at Chapter 166 of the Florida Statutes to confirm what Weeks complained about. If I remember correctly it was Albert Hadeed who made the claim he was secretly recorded by Weeks at a canvassing board meeting when he was caught whispering about voted absentee ballots studying and results being revealed before election night, and that proved in the court of law to not be the case–Weeks’ recording of Hadeed was legal. Again the State Attorney sat on his hands and didn’t investigate that voter fraud and prosecute the wrong doers—they witch hunted Weeks. This entire county reeks of a bunch of pompass politicians doing what they want and giving us the people who pay the bills the finger. Our taxes keep going up and now property values are going up which means we are going to be paying more in taxes and the county will get more of our money and the megalomania will continue. Something needs to be done to stop this train wreck. The only thing we voters can do is vote incumbents out of office and hope we get something better. Getting something better doesn’t mean recycle those like Holland and elect them into different positions.We need some people who are honest and who will represent us to run for public office and stand up to these types of corruption. The employees who work for the county deserve it! If nothing else do it for them. This woman who came forward with her illness and who has been a champion for those who don’t feel they can speak up deserves it. This is personal to some and they are willing to expose their personal business to get the help they deserve. Why would any county worker be subject to this and have to wait so long? Craig Coffey apparently didn’t take the letter from Staly seriously because otherwise he would have gave it immediate attention. Nothing he was doing should have been so important that he put anything like this on hold. Would he do the same if a hurricane was upon us and put us and our needs and safety off until he was done doing what he wanted to do? Time for this clown to hit the road and our county commissioners to wake up. We people need to bond together and support these people at this time of need. We are paying the bills, so we should have a voice!
Donna Heiss says
I knew this building was trouble from the beginning. Us taxpayers didn’t even have a vote on the purchase which was rediculously high priced, but we all know who made the money on the deal. Flagler at its finest.
Print this, don’t print this, I don’t care. Look up the records of the purchase. Disgusting.
there’s one person to blame for this…but as his true self he will throw everyone else under the bus to deflect the damage on him… RIGHT RICK!!! and ANON you hit the nail on the head. God Bless and Godspeed to Annie and everyone else fighting this. Annie is an AWESOME DEPUTY!
Sharon Gorski says
IF this building has any type of Asbestos in it, it is a CRIME to allow any employee in this building, as you may as well take a loaded gun and kill all your employees, as it will eventually kill them all… I watched my Father die from that, and it is the utmost worst thing you want to see a family member go thru.. IF this is a Mold issue that will also infect the lungs and cause Cancer.. Maybe the ones who are ignoring these concerns should be made to work in these offices day and day out for one month and we can review your health, to see if the quality has gone down…
I believe the entire county should come together to get these issues under control or to move all the employees to a different building.
Money should NEVER EVER come before the health of any person, money does not buy longevity.. and our deputies are NOT sacrificial lambs ..
With the many vacant buildings in and around the county there should be no reason why those offices cannot be moved until the health issues have been addressed and FIXED.
I support Deputy Conrad!!!
ALFRED RUIZ says
Mr. John Ward, you certainly managed to alienate at least 20% of your vote with your statement that Puerto Ricans who just came from Puerto Rico should not be able to vote. Puerto Ricans are citzens of the U.S. and you cannot take that right from them. Puerto Ricans have been coming to Florida since before the inception of the U.S. We are talking about generations of Puerto Ricans here now that vote in both parties. And many are not recognized as Hispanics because they come from mixed marriages. However, they certainly know their roots. Some claim to be white since they look white and to avoid descrimination just as you have displayed with your comments in this meeting.
Many are loyal Republicans and the thought of someone running for office stating that Puerto Ricans asking for assistance should be stripped of their voting rights is unconscionable. The majority of Puerto Ricans are loyal hard working people. And those displaced who came here because they lost everything: their jobs, their houses, their cars, their food, etc.
A Puerto Rican ran for Governor in Florida, on the Republican ticket, she lost in the primary. But managed to acquire just under 20% of the Republican Vote. That’s a lot of Republican Puerto Ricans. My advice to you Mr. Ward is just to step down because I believe that it would be impossible for you to win in any Republican primary.
South Florida says
The best detective they got who cares about her job and gets treated like crap.
She has worked her heart out each day she went to work and even on her days off.
An Honest American says
Detective Anne Conrad my thoughts and prayers are with you and the other employees suffering from this horrific situation that could have be completely avoided. There were residents of Flagler County that spoke at a commission meeting when the commissioners were considering the purchase of the asbestos ridden hospital. Three of the commissioners including the NOW commissioner Nate McLaughlin voted for the of highly inflated purchase of the hospital, which was partly owned by Attorney Michael Chemento. Then your commissioners added another million dollars for improvements so they could House the Sheriff and his staff. The way you are being treated by Sheriff Staley, Coffey and some of your working partners are not right and should be looked into further. These people have absolutely no regard for you or anyone else. Thank Tell your friends that are afraid to come forward, there is safety in numbers and they should be standing by you.You all should never lose your jobs for coming forward with the truth, but the ones that are snuggling up to the DEVILS of Flagler County should lose their jobs for not taking care of this sooner. The tax payers reading this blog should remember November is coming and think about who you are going to vote for commissioner, because we are the ones that are going to pay for all of you to hopefully get well. May God continue to give you strength and Bless You.
My thought’s and Prayers go out to those affected by the illness. Hopefully it’s not a permeant illness.
I was talking to my brother about this yesterday, and for whatever reasons the words he left me with was this. “Do you remember what I taught you about the Civil War…? Never in the history or recorded time did one Country fight SO hard against itself to free a people. You have a voice, and we the people, we make the choice…”
I have not been able to lay that down since, so here goes it kids!
This whole situation reeks, from County to F.C.S.D. Administration.
This man will soldier his OWN staff, his OWN brotherhood into permanent disease and in the end, certain death? What do you think he would get behind doing to us, we the public? What do you think our County will now get behind doing…? How about all those babies going to school at the old court house?
At-least the prisoners have a new jail, so we don’t have to worry about loved ones lost to addiction getting any sicker.
OR how about Dorothy Singer, shot Butch right in the head – five times and once in the chest – we certainly won’t have her getting any sicker now will we? Or Tammy Almond, for lack of better words, bulls-eye shot to the head – everyone knew Darryl. We won’t have her getting any sicker now will we…?
You got me jacked-up. Does anyone else see the idiocy to this? Or am I my own special breed of “junkie in recovery messed-up”?
In my legal and sober I will tell you I come from a VERY checkered past. In my time I worked with, brotherhoods. AND those names will forever go from my head to my grave. I’m a ride or die girl, and even in my recovery – when my streets call my name, my affiliates call my name, in their hours of darkness, in their moments of, woe OR in, “Where are you at man, come get me…” That truck is rolling and, I am there!
I thought Law-Enforcement to be the biggest gang in the nation. If they knew me in Flagler County – they would know me in Honduras too. (D.E.A.) So, tell me about this brother-hood our class-mate answers too. This brother-hood is a walking target, because they chose to protect and serve people like my brother and his whole family who lived a life opposite of his, sister.
I sit and wonder if Staly couldn’t learn a thing or two from “us” and “they”. Cause the thing I would tell him is this, “Brother that’s the thing about them tables, those things always turn. AND you know, being a soldier in the business of, grime. We all know that today, someone falls on the sword – the question you ask YOURself every day is – is today your day my friend…?”
Every-single one of us went to school with Annie AND even though all my best friends are convicted felons – this is our class-mate people, regardless what occupation, lifestyle, OR career of choice we come from… When we come face to face with her, we are friends.
The meeting is TODAY at 1:00 p.m. down the road from Wendy’s at the Emergency Operations Center off S.R.100. They claim the meeting is open to the public.
However, what they will not tell you, F.C.S.O. Administration, have already issued a gag order on a mold testing inspector. I guess what that inspector had to say did not fit into Sheriff Staly, with his, “See something, say something” motto. AND his “Green Roof Inn” lottery EVERY week.
AND I also want you to remember – Sheriff Rick Staly, is motivated by the voters. By the public’s voice. One thing EVERYone of us have that walked these Flagler County streets is a voice, and a loud one.
Can we come together and use it?
Make that call…?!?
Correction Flaglerlive -, it was the County that issued the gag order to one of the mold inspectors. Appoligises in advance. It does NOT change the fact, F.C.S.O. Administration is privy to this. I hope you find it, somehow.
Need New Leadership says
Words cannot express my thoughts. Are you seriously that arrogant? No need to reply, we know the answer. You need to take a hard look in the mirror and ask yourself if you are the right person for this job. In an effort to keep this post brief, I will detail just a few of the reasons that I make the above statements.
1. You stood on my doorstep to ask me to support your run for Sheriff. During that short conversation, you told me that you ran a successful company (a security company if memory serves me) and sold it for several million dollars. You also let me know how you were shot saving another Deputy, and were awarded the Medal of Heroism. I do not care how much money you are worth, and in my years of serving in the military I have learned that the only people that brag about the medals they were awarded usually are not worth having a conversation with. I then learned that your wife actually recommended you for the medal 37 years after the incident.
2. On May 29th, you wrote a letter to the County calling the Operations Center an “Unsafe Albatross” and went on and on about how much you have been doing to get your employees relocated. Your mouthpiece Strobridge stated “Despite whatever everybody else has been saying about it, the Sheriff has been working on this for quite some time…” You stated that “claims weren’t filed under the previous administration…” because “there was a general climate and fear of retaliation against employees who make waves or opposed Sheriff Manfree”. Now FlaglerLive has uncovered this investigation and we all see the letter that Detective Conrad wrote to you in confidence BEGGING and PLEADING with you to take her seriously. The letter isn’t dated, but in it she references an upcoming doctors appointment on April 27th. That would indicated to me that she wrote the letter at least a week before April 27th. A full month prior to your letter to the county. Not 1 person from your senior staff had ever even asked her how she was doing. From November until April, you never asked her how she was. Yes, it was worth repeating. That Sir, is unsatisfactory leadership. The buck stops at your feet, and this shows that you do NOT have the best interest of your personnel at heart. Her letter also clearly shows her (and other deputy’s) fear of you and your administration, not former Sheriff Manfre.
3. On May 29th a FlagerLive article was published about the firing of Deputy Sousa. The reason for his firing was a violation of FCSO General Order 020 that states “Personnel shall conduct themselves at all times, both on and off duty, in such a manner as to reflect most favorably on the FCSO…. Conduct unbecoming shall include that which brings the FCSO into disrepute or reflects discredit upon the personnel as a member of the FCSO” and that any comments, activity or behavior that could bring discredit or create an unfavorable view of the agency, individual, or administration may not be protected speech and could subject you to disciplinary action up to and including termination”.
Additionally, in this very article, the suspension of Chief Brandt was for a violation of FCSO General Order 020.A Standards of Conduct. That General Order Sir, states that “Personnel shall not criticize or ridicule the FCSO, its policies, or other personnel by speech, writing, or other expression, where such speech, writing or other expression is defamatory, obscene, unlawful, undermines the effectiveness of the FCSO, interferes with the Maintenance of discipline, or is made with reckless disregard for truth or falsity
Do plan on suspending yourself for 3 days without pay? Do you plan on leaving office? Because Sheriff Staly, you have certainly brought an unfavorable light upon yourself and the FCSO with the obvious and blatant lies that have come out in recent days.
I see it this way. This is likely your only term in office, I think that you now realize that as a fact. What is your legacy going to be? Are you going to be the Sheriff that lost the confidence of those under his charge? Are you going to be known simply as the Media Sheriff? Still to this day, you have not ordered the affected employees out of the building. The most severely affected personnel are still ordered to report to the building. How do I know that? Because you always have your public affairs personnel in tow touting all the good you are doing. If you ordered them out, I have no doubt we would have heard about it. You sure didn’t take any time getting the “albatross” story out, but since then it is crickets. Another possible legacy COULD be that you are the Sheriff that finally afforded Medical Insurance to deputies upon retirement. Why don’t you start working on that with the county and the union. I would say that would be a start seeing as so many of your people very well may have lifelong medical issues to deal with.
Absestos was found, HVAC system not working correctly, are you KIDDING ME??? Flagler County and those in charge of the Flagler Sheriff’s office should take all steps to correct this problem. When I worked in a large downtown city, the tall building I was in shut down 4 floors at a time removing the absestos. It took them over a year to clear it all away, but they did it. How much money does Flagler County want to spend paying out health lawsuits, eh? TAKE CARE OF this problem. I pass by that office at least twice a week – it’s back in the ‘woods’. Another thing, are any of the wallboard that Chinese wallboard that caused so much sickness back a few years ago?
I know the office is planning on moving to a new one soon, but what will you be able to do with a ‘sick’ building, since it will be difficult to sell it. FIX THE PROBLEMS.
Ria francis says
This sherrif department sure does know how to create a diversion when they are under investigation for gross negligence and misconduct.Lots of tricks up there sleeve, paid for by tax payers money.