A few people addressing the Flagler County Commission this morning called on the resignation of Joe Mullins for sponsoring the travels to and taking part in last week’s protest-turned-riot on the U.S. Capitol. Mullins had days earlier called for the beheading of liberals and used commission letterhead to repeat the false narrative of a fraudulent election and urge Florida’s congressional election to overturn the presidential vote.
County commissioners–who three times last year refused to discipline or censure Mullins for bigoted, racist, offensive or threatening language, including insults and threats against fellow-commissioners–again mostly declined to address their colleague’s acts or behavior, with one exception: newly-seated Commissioner Andy Dance recommended a commission “retreat” or something like it to discuss “commission norms, expectations and behavior or procedures.”
His colleagues’ reception was not enthusiastic. Commissioner Dave Sullivan asked if it would be open to the public. He was told it would be. “If that’s the case, I probably will not be in favor of it,” Sullivan said. In an interview later, he explained: “Just because I think we have plenty of times when the public can come in and discuss things. I didn’t want to turn this into just another session where we have people come in and vouch their opinions about Joe, we’ve had enough of that.” But he said he’d still think it over.
Commissioner Greg Hansen, who’s been the target of Mullins insults, was absent, being ill. Commission Chairman Donald O’Brien was “open to the discussion,” and suggested the commission’s procedures could guide it, but was withholding a commitment until Hansen returns.
Commissioners have been receiving emails and comments about Mullins’s recent acts. Dance defended him somewhat, but only up to a point. “Everybody is jumping on Commissioner Mullins, especially for that trip, but he has every right to go and protest,” he said. “I think we have to be aware of tone and I don’t agree with some of the comments he’s made, especially on his radio show, on the violence. So my comment is really about just trying to pull all this together. I would like to get a commitment from the board if we can to where we meet in a — and I’ve mentioned this before–but in a retreat. I think we need to hash out what our commission norms, expectations and behavior or procedures are for, just for normal behavior. People come up, they want to do a censure, they want to do this and that, but there’s nothing that I’ve seen to base even a censure on, because we haven’t put anything together on what our norms and expectations are. So I think as a group we need to have that discussion, and until we do, there’s really–the decision is of the voters. I think one of the comments was made about ultimately it relies in the hands of the voters as far as Mr. Mullins’s status, and that’s not for two years.”
Dance asked for consensus on a February or March retreat. He did not get it–for now, anyway.
An immediately defiant Mullins responded with conflicting statements. “My radio show is my personal business and my personal business will not be impacted by any decision made up here, I want to be very clear with that,” he said, referring to the half-hour infomercial he pays for on WNZF and describes as a “show.” Mullins seldom makes a distinction between his role as a commissioner and his private role on the commercial, the platform where he made his comment about beheading liberals, and where county officials have frequently appeared as “guests.”
Mullins did not back down from his most violent statement this morning, actually defending it as “an analogy” “and the analogy was not calling for an action.” (Mullins had said: “ I mean there are some liberals I’d like to see their heads cut off, you know, they couldn’t do that thinking crazy thing they do.” See the full context here.) He then went on to defend himself without a hint of apology or retreat: “We have five individual personalities, and my base is very strong, supportive of the president as I am and 59 percent of this county supported him, so if there’s a right way or a wrong way, I don’t know how to do it differently but be honest and be transparent.”
His only comment about Dance’s suggestion of a retreat was in the context of his occasional attempts to counter local media, which, following Trump’s playbook, he frequently slanders, (FlaglerLive especially, since it uncovered his land deal with County Administrator Jerry Cameron a little over a year ago): “I do agree maybe us getting together and getting on the same page would be good, because I think it’s time we start recognizing very strongly what media can do to this community and what media or even bloggers can do to this community damage-wise.”
Mullins then immediately, and apparently without recognizing the irony, bemoaned how “we’re seeing a lot of censorship right now. Everybody that went up there to that event has been kicked off social media.” (Either Facebook or Mullins himself scrubbed his Facebook page of numerous posts about and from the Washington events.) He claimed, falsely, that “anybody basically showing any support for the president has been removed from social media.” (Social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook have removed or banned users who advocated insurrection, violence, or outright false claims about the election.) “We’re well on our way to something I’m very concerned about, and that’s controlling the dialogue of the American people.”
O’Brien, the commission chairman, corrected him. “59 percent of the vote does not necessarily mean support. It means a vote. So just wanted to push back a little bit on that,” O’Brien said. O’Brien had to delay the start of the meeting because, as had been the case on some previous occasions, some people in attendance were not complying with the masking requirement to protect against the coronavirus.
Following several unrelated items, the public comment segment was dominated by the Mullins issue, with Flagler Beach Commissioner Ken Bryan, speaking as a private citizen, delivering an impassioned statement on what he described as “a very gloomy and a very dark time period in our country.” He called on Mullins to resign for what Bryan sees as a violation of the oath of office.
“It’s unfortunate that some of the same individuals who took the same oath of office like I did, and as you did, violated that oath to organize and led dozens of protesters to our nation’s capital, to participate in a heinous attack on our country,” Bryan said, referring to the attempt to overturn the presidential vote that then devolved into an assault on Congress. Mullins had advocated overturning the vote, but told the Observer he did not take part in the assault. “The individual who organized and led this group in prior days had also advocated on public airwaves and social media the beheading of fellow-citizens, has also berated, cursed and threatened fellow-elected officials in prior instances with absolutely no consequences,” Bryan continued. (See his full remarks here.)
Mike Cocchiola, a local Democratic Party leader who’s frequently called out Mullins’s behavior, said Mullins–who sponsored, but did not organize, the trip–went “to what was supposed to be a rally, but everybody knew it was going to lead to violence because it was being planned openly in social media,” a claim well documented since. “Nobody who went there to Washington could be unaware that this was going to lead to violence.” He called on Mullins to be held accountable, as well for his use of county letterhead to push fraudulent claims and for the way he “encouraged the decapitation of certain liberals. I’m pretty convinced that I’m one of those certain liberals, and I take it personally. That kind of behavior is egregious, it brings dishonor on Flagler before Florida and before the country.” Cocchiola called for the commissioner’s censure and resignation.
“Mr. Mullins, your fellow commissioner, has every right to organize buses for last week’s rally in Washington, D.C.,” Robin Polletta, a Flagler Beach resident, said, “but the irony of supporting and repeating misinformation about the November election is that it invalidates other elections such as those of Commissioner Sullivan and Commissioner Dance.” (Mullins has not questioned the vote in Florida, adopting the paradoxical view that where Trump won, the vote was legal, but in many states where he did not, the vote was fraudulent. The view, repeatedly proven false, repeats Trump’s own claims going back to 2016 that the only way he could lose was by fraud, though even then he never questioned the thinner razor margins that gave him the victory.)
Other than Mullins, those who spoke in his defense included Mark Phillips, the organizer of the Washington trip, who had nothing but praise for Mullins and glorification of last Wednesday’s “march” (he called it “an amazing, beautiful sight”), and Donna Kaylor, who said: “The protest in D.C. was about a million citizens exercising those same First Amendment rights. The few who breached the Capitol were not from our group and are not supported by us. To characterize our group as rioters flies in the face of what was done in cities like Minneapolis, Kenosha and Portland. Cities and businesses there were burned to the ground by violent-crazed anarchists of BLM and Antifa. Our group was peaceful from beginning to end.”
Helen McWilliams, who did not take the trip to the capital, also spoke in his defense, described Mullins opponents as “people up here who are wanting to oppress and suppress the voice of the people. The bottom line is, Mr. Mullins was elected by the people of this county.” Mullins’s term does not run out until 2022. He has filed for reelection.
A retreat? Andy really. Fire him!
deborah s mott says
Shame on you Flagler County Commissioners. Ya’ll are elected to represent the people of Flagler County not just Trump Supporters! Mullins has made it very clear where he stands and it’s not for the people of Flagler County. You all digust me!
His comments about beheading liberals is enough evidence that he needs to be fired.
He has been and still is a stain on Palm Coast.
And once again you all fail the People of your County by letting this reprobate continue to spew his misinformed dogma designed to deceive project divide and deflect. Good Luck
Mary Fusco says
Mr. Mullins was elected to represent those of Flagler County, whether they be black, white, gay straight, republican or democrat. He claims he doesn’t want gay propaganda shoved in his children’s face but is in fact shoving his propaganda in everyone else’s face. A fanatic is dangerous in many ways. So be it. Life goes on. I still can’t figure out what everyone is afraid of.
If I am still alive, able to vote and not beheaded you can bet your ass Joe will not get my vote. And I will probably vote against all incumbents as they come up for reelection. Methinks it is time for change.
Concerned Citizen says
I made a strong effort to get people to realize that incumbents were not what Flagler County needed this election. Sadly the majority spoke. And Flagler is stuck with more of the same. This County is so resistant and scared of change they would rather rehash and keep expecting different.
A wise man once said.
“The defanition of insanity is doing the same thing over. And expecting different results”
That quote seems to fit Flagler County to a T.
Kelley Jones says
Same here, everyone OUT. THIS IS A DISGUSTING COMMISSION. I’m embarrassed that I live here. I hope Mullins is found on FBI Video.
Report him for his comments about beheadings. That should be enough.
I wonder how their trip to DC went?
Ben Dover says
I`m calling the FBI hotline giving the Mullins name and how he`d like to behead all of us liberals , how him and his band of Nazi`s like to spread the virus , I`d personally like to beat the snot out of him , but I will just make sure the FBI knows he was there and what type of dirt bag he is.
Bill Green says
All Flagler County commissioners care more about towing the party line than being fair and just as they failed to censure Commissioner Joe Mullins by – again -allowing him to create chaos, make multiple threats to his constituency and create an atmosphere of fear and mistrust with absolutely NO accountability. By – again – defending and supporting this vile and consistent violator of council protocol, decorum and common decency, the entire council is guilty of partisan politics, poor decision-making and the repetitive protection of a serial scoundrel. It’s only a matter of time before Mullins’ rhetoric and threats will result in injury or worse. The entire council is now fully responsible for Mullins’ future words, actions and behaviors. Concerned, objective citizens will be monitoring his and your actions as you are all under the microscope of people who truly care about our county.
It is disgusting and beyond reprehensible, Mr.Mullins is an elected official. What he has been saying deems him unfit for office. I’m so sick of these racist and arrogant idiot’s.
Fernando Melendez says
It is time to stop this wild party of excessive indulgence by all five commissioners believing that they know what is best for us Flagler county residents who they don’t even bother listening to except when it’s an election or re election time. Then you see them playing Mr. nice guys and being all ears but once elected all the collective choices and the people’s concerns are right out the window. They have to remember that we elected them to work on issues happening right here in Flager county and not of any national concerns. Stop the partisan politics and work for our entire county’s best interest.
Wow, you all have no backbone and double-down on allowing this shameful representation of our county? How sad and maddening. Continued support for Trump will only bring you more shame as he is showing his true traitorous colors more and more every day. It will make our jobs in 2022 easier which is replacing all of you and our residents are horrified. Joe should resign and the rest of you should step up and do the right thing.
Percy's mother says
Regarding some people in the audience not complying with the masking requirement to guard against the coronavirus . . .
I watched the entire commission meeting on YouTube via live stream. There was a woman sitting directly behind Mike Cocchiola’s wife who continued to be noncompliant with mask wearing throughout the commission meeting. Take a look at the video. She repeatedly exposed her face (nose and mouth) while sitting directly behind the Cocchiola’s. Occasionally she would lift up a piece of material from what appeared to be some sort of scarf or other sort of material. Mostly, her face remained uncovered during the first part of the commission meeting. It can be seen clearly on the video if you concentrate on what’s going on directly behind the Cocchiola’s.
I posted a comment hopefully to get the attention of the powers that be monitoring the commission meeting who were sitting over by Jerry Cameron. I asked that someone give her a mask. Nothing came of my request. The Cocchiola’s continued to be exposed to an unmasked woman throughout their attendance at the commission meeting on January 11, 2021 (without knowing they were being exposed).
During this time of increased transmission of the coronavirus, especially with a new more virulent and contagious strain in Florida, allowing a woman to sit in close proximity to others during the commission meeting is inexcusable.
Concerned Citizen says
I would like to know why Joe Mullins has so much pull over his fellow BCC members.
Our BOCC continues to show no back bone when dealing with this embarressment of a County Commissioner. And why? Does he have information he is using to control them? Is he so volatile that our other BOCC members are afraid? If so why isn’t legal action being prepared?
This man has committed so many grievious poor choices that had he been in the public work sector he would no longer be employed. And most likely in jail. Yet our BOCC and County Attorney enable him to keep up his erratic behavior.
@ Our BOCC and County Attorney
You all need to wise up and get some back bone. Do the right thing and get rid of this guy before he does something you all will regret. If you need help countering whatever hold he has over you reach out to our local media. Let them start an investigative journalism campaign so that it negates the secrecy..
@ Fellow Constiuents.
I have made my phone calls and emails to the proper agencies to try and start investigations and institute a recall. It takes a village though. Stop letting this guy run around Flagler County like a Mob Boss. Light up those phones and emails and get some Law Enforcement interest on this guy. I’m not scared of him. And you shouldn’t be either.
Trailer Bob says
It is called money and insanity. Together that equals enough power to keep him there. No one in their right mind truly believes otherwise.
Jane Gentile-Youd says
The answer is right here to all our problems with an ‘unhinged’ bigoted’ anti-American agitator, irresponsible, incompetent public official :
PUBLIC OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, AND RECORDS
PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES: GENERAL PROVISIONS
View Entire Chapter
112.51 Municipal officers; suspension; removal from office.—
(1) By executive order stating the grounds for the suspension and filed with the Secretary of State, the Governor may suspend from office any elected or appointed municipal official for malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty, habitual drunkenness, incompetence, or permanent inability to perform official duties.
(2) Whenever any elected or appointed municipal official is arrested for a felony or for a misdemeanor related to the duties of office or is indicted or informed against for the commission of a federal felony or misdemeanor or state felony or misdemeanor, the Governor has the power to suspend such municipal official from office.
(3) The suspension of such official by the Governor creates a temporary vacancy in such office during the suspension. Any temporary vacancy in office created by suspension of an official under the provisions of this section shall be filled by a temporary appointment to such office for the period of the suspension. Such temporary appointment shall be made in the same manner and by the same authority by which a permanent vacancy in such office is filled as provided by law. If no provision for filling a permanent vacancy in such office is provided by law, the temporary appointment shall be made by the Governor.
(4) No municipal official who has been suspended from office under this section may perform any official act, duty, or function during his or her suspension; receive any pay or allowance during his or her suspension; or be entitled to any of the emoluments or privileges of his or her office during suspension.
(5) If the municipal official is convicted of any of the charges contained in the indictment or information by reason of which he or she was suspended under the provisions of this section, the Governor shall remove such municipal official from office. If a person was selected to fill the temporary vacancy pursuant to subsection (3), that person shall serve the remaining balance, if any, of the removed official’s term of office. Otherwise, any vacancy created by the removal shall be filled as provided by law. For the purposes of this section, any person who pleads guilty or nolo contendere or who is found guilty shall be deemed to have been convicted, notwithstanding a suspension of sentence or a withholding of adjudication.
(6) If the municipal official is acquitted or found not guilty or is otherwise cleared of the charges which were the basis of the arrest, indictment, or information by reason of which he or she was suspended under the provisions of this section, then the Governor shall forthwith revoke the suspension and restore such municipal official to office; and the official shall be entitled to and be paid full back pay and such other emoluments or allowances to which he or she would have been entitled for the full period of time of the suspension. If, during the suspension, the term of office of the municipal official expires and a successor is either appointed or elected, such back pay, emoluments, or allowances shall only be paid for the duration of the term of office during which the municipal official was suspended under the provisions of this section, and he or she shall not be reinstated.
History.—s. 1, ch. 67-66; s. 1, ch. 69-256; s. 3, ch. 73-129; s. 2, ch. 84-245; s. 16, ch. 87-224; s. 719, ch. 95-147; s. 50, ch. 2007-30.
Note.—Former s. 166.16.
Copyright © 1995-2020 The Florida Legislature • Privacy Statement • Contact Us
Reviled and Disgusted says
It is really amazing. The puffed-up, self-important elected republicans in this county are hand-wringers one and all. Do you guys have a private knitting circle where you breathe heavy sighs and shrug your very useless shoulders? Useless. The whole lot of you. Mullins is a boil on our county. You know it and we know it. He doesn’t have the massive base he thinks he does. The estimated numbers of his base are blown up just like his ego. Act your age, quit wringing your hands, and get Mullins out. Then after that, learn to tie your own shoes, and pour your own milk. You can do it.
Time for Impeachment.He is a disgrace to his fellow commisioners & us The People of Palm Coast!!!!
Jack Trump says
FBI Jacksonville office
But Gee, I am sure that the County Commissioner’s will assure us that Mullins “will never touch that hot stove again.”
What ! people were expecting something else. LOL, its not going to happen in this county. History already proves that.
MEGA Not says
I think if we had right parties involved and fully investigate three of our Commissioners there could very well be criminal activity uncovered. Two Commissioners are definitely under control of the third, what does he have on them? Have they been complicit in some of the things typically called corruption. Incompetence and ignorance does not even begin to describe the actions of some of our elected officials. I think it’ time for the public to dig deep and find every little thing that could result in criminal charges against these people. Criminal charges are the only thing that will work, our Governor is simply a brain dead pawn, a do nothing idiot who is incapable of taking a shit without approval of the Republican Party.
To all the voters that didn’t care, or didn’t pay attention to what most of the BOCC members were doing and allowing to let Mullins be their “Trump” bully: YOU chose to re-elect and keep all this algae scum in office for some reason only known to yourselves.
Sadly, the rest of us who voted differently have to suffer with the decision. I give Andy Dance a lot of credit for trying to be sensible, fair and do what’s right and solve the problems. However, the cowardly members didn’t seem to like the idea so I guess their mentality prefers nastiness, degradation, fear and self interest and will stand by that, rather than stand up for what’s right.
Paul Harrington says
Maybe this an issue of elector responsibility. Instead of voting for the person who has the most signs on the street do a little research. Know the person you want in office.
There is a constant group that complains yet yesterday only 3 people showed up at the Board of County Commission meeting to talk. Over 30,000 people voted for Joe Mullins, it will most likely take more than 3 people or even 30 or 40 to get a review by the ethics department or governors office. We elect our Commissioners to make decisions for the community not to monitor the pomposity, rhetoric or affairs of other Commissioners.
If you don’t like something come to the commission meetings and speak up. A live voice goes farther than a comment on social media.
When you are a public servant whether you are on your own personal time or not you still have a responsibility to uphold your Oath of Office which you valved to keep.
For little man Mullin make a statement he would like to behead people he doesn’t agree with is an absolute threat of violence just as his idol Donald Trump did last Wednesday on national tv and now is saying he didn’t do that.
Both need to be relieved from their positions for violating their Oath of Office and both have miserably failed to do that.
Flagler County Commissioners what is your problem for you not living up to your Oath to the Flagler County residence. Do your jobs or you all need to be removed too.
Give these people an inch and they will take a mile. Lack of punishment is what led to the insurrection at the Capitol last week. It’s what is leading to more talk of Democratic assassinations (and Republican’s that didn’t go along with Trump’s Steal The Election grift) in the coming days. It’s why they feel emboldened to have armed gatherings at all 50 state Capitol buildings. Acts like this should not go unpunished. There is a freedom in speech, yes, but there is also a danger. Words matter. They matter more than people realize. Words have the power to convince others that a legal, free, and fair election was stolen (it wasn’t and they had at least 62 opportunities to present their case and failed.) Words have the power to ignite a flame where there is no wick. Words can lead people over the edge of sanity and into a world that doesn’t make sense to many outside observers, but in that world, those people see a community of like-minded people and they will do whatever it takes to fit in, even committing federal crimes.
Both sides have their fringe movements, however, Tweeting out the Speaker of the House’s location during an armed occupation is grounds for removal from the House (I’m looking at you Q rep from CO Boebbert). Lying during the certification process that there was fraud and STILL failing to produce a single valid piece of evidence continues to stoke the flames of mental illness occupying many in the alt-right movement. Parler solidified what I already knew–these people will believe anything you tell them if it fits their ideology. JFK JR alive. Martial Law. Lizard people. The list of their conspiracy theories is endless. What’s mind boggling is they’ve thrown all their belief system, all their remaining sanity behind a man that has committed adultery, tax fraud, stolen money from a children’s cancer charity, laundered money, taken money from the American people that he said was for his re-election but was instead laundered it to different shell companies, a man that has been accused of rape by dozens of women, one as young as 14, and then they have the gall to call themselves Christians. They idolize him like a God. He’s a false prophet, someone that preys on the weak, and ignorant, and convinces them that he is the only one that has the answers, and he is the only one that cares. It’s a playbook used by demagogues and cult-leaders for centuries. Napoleon, Hitler, Putin, Kim Jong Un, Bollisaro, Jim Jones, David Koresh, Charles Manson, and so on have brainwashed people into believing the only way is their way and everyone else is wrong.
Donald Trump once said he loves stupid people because they believe anything you tell them. It is clear that Mullins is part of the brainwashed group that falls behind Trump, nipping at his heels for attention. He doesn’t have the best interests of Flagler County in mind and is a traitor to this nation, just like Trump never had the best interest of American in mind, only how he could attain immense power and wealth at the expense of our Republic and fragile Democracy.
Probably Santayana says
While Commissioner Mullins and his ‘followers’ are protesting the results of the last election there is a woman who lost the GA Gov race a while back out signing up more new voters. Many new voters. Enough to swing the state of GA from red to blue. Finding more and more votes for the guy from DE’s political party. Which state swings next? Texas? Florida? DJT lost the election. DJT will never win a fed election again as he has lost the middle. The Party that put DJT up had better start looking for new, better candidates and working on where and how to find some more votes before the next election or else sit back and get ready for what’s coming from the DE guy, the woman from SFO, and much much more.
The Truth says
It’s sad that nearly nothing surprises me anymore given what’s happening at the very top of our government.
The Flagler County Commissioners are acting just like Republicans at the highest level. They’re choosing to turn a blind eye to very clear WRONG behavior simply to play partisan politics. I don’t care if you are a Democrat or Republican, Mullins needs to go. He is a disgrace to the Republican party (just like Trump) and doesn’t carry the value of the party. You would think that anyone with a spine would speak up and say this but clearly we have many spineless Republicans in Flagler County just like we do all around the country.
Concerned Citizen says
One thing I meant to add in earlier comments.
Flagler County got fed up and pissed off with Craig Coffey for his poor choices. But to my knowledge he never made violent threats. Or went to our Nation’s Capitol to participate in Open Insurrection.
By the amount of comments in this thread the majority of Flagler County residents are starting to voice disapproval. Voicing it is fine but when will you all do you part to insist that action be taken?
Let’s see some of that effort directed at Craig Coffey turned around on Joe Mullins.
These messages about Mullens are insulting to our intelligence.This site has some good reading articles.Every time you look now it’s about that scumbag Mullens.Sheriff Staley states if You see Something Say Something
Well all you commissioners
Have seen so much!!!!Why aren’t You Doing Something.
We the people of Palm Coast voted for you too do The Right Thing.ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.Concerned citizen of P.C. for 42 years
Brian Larson says
I will be calling the FBI hotline and reporting Mullins and his Nazi group The Flagler Liberty Coalition
What does Joe Mullins have in his pocket that protects him from these cowardly commissioner’s? The guys an embarrassment to the county yet no one has the cojanos to stand up to this idiot.
Been here 20 years says
This behavior from anyone in our City should be punished! Just when I think things are getting better, another distraction from the needs of our citizens and city! We pay and elected them, if they don’t act properly in public office or any public position they should be replaced and terminated! At least we have great Sheriff and law enforcement officers! We also have great first responders! Our Mayor, county commissioners and many other city and county officials need to be removed and replaced! We need a petition that we can send to the state leadership!