Last Updated: 7:20 p.m., with Sheriff’s and former Undersheriff Rick Staly’s responses.
The Florida Ethics Commission’s advocate is recommending that Flagler County Sheriff Jim Manfre be found guilty of three out of four ethics-violation charges filed against him by his former finance director, which could expose Manfre to fines of several thousand dollars and contrast sharply with his election promise to raise the ethical bar at the agency.
The three charges are the same that the ethics commission investigated last year. They center on Manfre’s alleged use of an agency credit card for personal purchases, his use of an agency vehicle for personal trips, his acceptance of a time-share gift without reporting it, and his receiving his first paycheck one week before its normal issuance date. Last year, the advocate found probable cause of violations in all but the last charge.
But in a deal, the commission advocate and Manfre agreed that he would admit to only one violation—his misuse of a department vehicle for personal trips. The other two charges would be dismissed as part of the deal.
In a startling and rare development, the ethics commission itself rejected its own advocate’s recommendation, finding the investigation incomplete and raising numerous additional questions that openly cast doubt on the sheriff’s veracity.
The second investigation was conducted and on June 1, a different commission advocate concluded, just as her predecessor had, that Manfre had violated the state’s ethics laws again on three counts—the same three counts he’d been found to have violated last year.
The difference this time is that there is no deal.
The recommendations go before the ethics commission’s July 24 meeting, at which time the commission will decide whether to accept or reject the recommendations. If Manfre is found in violation of the law, he would be fined. But there are no criminal penalties, as the proceedings are purely civil.
The conclusions of Commission Advocate Elizabeth Miller were as harsh as those of her predecessor last year, but more detailed, and underscored by Miller’s attempt to show a gulf between Manfre’s stated aim as sheriff and his actual conduct. Miller began the report of her recommendation by citing Manfre’s words during his last election campaign, when he made much of the importance of ethical conduct. “The public should vote for me rather than my opponent,” he’d said in a statement printed by the Observer during the election campaign, and in reference to former Sheriff Don Fleming, “due to his pattern of unethical behavior over the past nine months that has affected his credibility and that of the department.” He’d also said that “you’re not supposed to use your position to get things other people cannot get,” a reference to Fleming having been found guilty by the ethics commission of using his position for special access at the Hammock Beach Club.
Three violations that, if sustained, would undermine Manfre’s core promise to stand on ethics.
“Ignorance of the law is no defense,” Manfre had said in comments reproduced by the advocate—a comment she would then use as a dagger against Manfre, who has claimed, in response to the charges, that he had been unaware of violations because his finance director had not alerted him to them. Bolante, the finance director, filed the ethics charges against Manfre shortly after she says—in a lawsuit that’s still pending against Manfre—that she was forced to retire.
While Manfre “takes responsibility for his actions,” his response, filed Monday (July 6), states, “the Commission should not lose sight of the fact that [Bolante] in this matter was the Director of Business Services for the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office during the entire period when the alleged violations occurred.” As such, she supervised all financial matters including purchasing, accounts payable and records requests, “had knowledge of nearly every action she included in the complaint yet she failed to give any notice whatsoever to [Manfre] that there was any problem with his conduct. Not until October 2013, when she learned that her department had not been monitoring travel expense accounts, did she begin this defensive posture of accusing [Manfre] of unethical conduct.”
Manfre, in his response, disputes the advocate’s questioning his use of one vehicle or another to deduce that Manfre’s inability to recall what vehicle he used somehow implied wrongful intent. “The inability to remember an incident that has no particular significance is not indicative of anything other than a memory lapse,” the response states. The response also details the extent to which the sheriff went to reimburse the agency when certain bills were brought to his attention, and to be sensitive to public perceptions of improprieties, even in the absence of wrongdoing. Regarding the receiving of a gift an d not reporting it, Manfre’s response reiterates what it had concluded last year—that initially Manfre had not thought the gift in question had cost more than $100, the threshold for required reporting.
Manfre was contacted by phone and contacted at his office through email, by way of the public information office, requesting comment. Shortly after 5 p.m., the office, through its public information chief–Jim Troiano–issued a news release that began by referring to the allegations as two years old, dating back to a time when the practices and policies of the previous administration were still in place.
“The sheriff takes full responsibility for his actions and does acknowledge that he could have made better decisions,” the release states. “However, none of his actions constituted an ethical violation. In fact, the report does not cite any policies, procedures, practices or laws that were in place at that time that were not properly followed. A 1974 Florida Attorney General’s Office opinion supports the sheriff and his position. The ethics report is a rehash of the same report issued several months ago with little additional information.”
The sheriff is not quoted directly. The release recalls the previous negotiated agreement and states that if all the charges are not dismissed, the sheriff will go to arbitration.
The statement then turns the tables, suggesting that his former undersheriff may have been at fault: “It is curious that the advocate relies on the testimony of Linda Bolante and Rick Staly, the same two close advisors that the sheriff was relying on for advice on these issues. Bolante was the chief financial officer, one who had the responsibility to manage and supervise the internal expenditures and internal control procedures, as well as conducting internal and independent audits and other fiscal matters. Staly, as the Undersheriff at the time, was Bolante’s supervisor and also shared the same responsibility to keep the Sheriff informed and provide guidance to him on issues like this, just like they both did on every other matter regarding official agency actions.”
Staly, reached by phone late this afternoon, was startled by the sheriff’s news release.
“His statement that he takes responsibility and then turns around and blames others pretty much speaks for itself,” Staly said of Manfre. “I was never allowed to see his credit card statements and the advice I gave him, he did not follow, and I believe that my statements to the investigators stand for themselves. It clearly shows I’ve never had an ethical problem. I’m disappointed he would take this avenue, but it doesn’t surprise me, because I’m retired, and its’ easy for him to say anything he wants. I think the complaint stands on its own, my statements, along with Linda Bolante’s statements stand on their own, and I will not lie or cover up for anyone. It’s one of the reasons why I retired. I would encourage your readers to review and read my statement to the investigators. If he would listen to advice maybe he would not be in the problems that he’s in, but he doesn’t listen to anyone.”
The second round of investigations did not add to the charges, but they amplify the case against Manfre—and they do so through the testimonies of several individuals, all of whom have worked with Manfre (some of them as far back as his first tenure as sheriff, from 2001 to 2005), and all but one have either recently retired or were forced out: Bolante (forced out), ex-Undersheriff David O’Brien (fired), Undersheriff Rick Staly (retired), and public information chief Bob Weber (retired). In addition, former Sheriff Don Fleming and ex-undersheriff Mark Maronski were also interviewed by the investigator. (Maronski had been Manfre’s undersheriff in his first tenure.) Fleming is considering another run for the office. Staly may be considering a run for sheriff as well. Weber had grown dissatisfied with Manfre over time. So none of the names on that list can be considered too friendly or protective of Manfre, and most can more accurately be seen as personal or political opponents in one degree or another.
One current deputy interviewed by investigators—Sgt. Mike Van Buren—told investigators of two instances that further illustrate the same pattern that led to the charges against Manfre: his use of his sheriff’s office credit card for private matters. Van Buren, a deputy since 1987 and a sergeant for the last 10, was subpoenaed to give a statement to the investigator. He recalled a trip to Washington D.C., in 2004, near the end of Manfre’s first tenure as sheriff. Some 16 members of the agency had traveled to the capital for a memorial for fallen officers. They went to an ESPN Zone restaurant for dinner. Among them were about six people not affiliated with the sheriff’s office. They ate and drank, some of them drinking alcohol. The bill came to $600. Manfre, Van Buren said, attempted to pay it with his sheriff’s office credit card. Van Buren says he and Maronski intervened, offered to pay the bill instead, then took up a collection to make the payment. Maronski does not recall the payment matter, and Manfre, in an April affidavit, said he did not attempt to use the agency credit card.
Van Buren reported yet another similar instance: again in D.C., at the Madhatter Restaurant, in May 2013—where Van Buren says Manfre paid for everyone’s meal with a sheriff’s office credit card. Van Buren says he did not warn Manfre against it because he didn’t know at the time that Manfre was using the agency card.
Both investigations—in 2014 and this year—documented instances of Manfre using the agency credit card then subsequently, after questions were raised, reimbursing the agency.
“Although [Manfre] states that he ‘takes full responsibility for his actions…’,” Miller, the commission advocate, concludes in her recommendations, “he continues to blame others for his continued use of the FCSO credit card for personal, improper purchases, which siphons money from the county’s coffers.”
The investigation and the advocate’s conclusions also show a gulf between what ex-employees such as Weber, Bolante and Staly said was the prevalent understanding about using credit cards—not for personal use—and Manfre’s position, that no such policy actually existed, or that, as Manfre put it in his response—through his attorney, Linda Edwards—“FCSO Internal Policies had a different application to [Manfre] than to road deputies.”
“Even if an expressed policy were absent,” the advocate found, Manfre’s “contention that an agency paid credit card could ethically be used for non-agency related purchases, such as meals for non-employees and alcohol, is not based in any public service protocol. Common sense dictates that items charged to FCSO and paid by FCSO should be related to FCSO operations.”
Johnny Taxpayer says
His defense, “you never told me I couldn’t drive an agency car on vacation, use the County’s credit card to purchase meals and booze for my wife and friends, and stay in a subordinate employees cabin for free, therefore it is not improper”.
I think the deputy in the report says it best… when he said he didn’t need a credit card policy to tell him it was improper to use the agency’s credit card for personal expenses, it’s common sense.
Manfre should resign. But he won’t, he probably can’t afford to give up the perks.
It’s really sad, isn’t there any honest politicians in this county, ethics complaints all over the place and they keep getting elected, SMH
Ray Thorne says
This fraud has to go. This is a supposed attorney/elected official who is claiming ignorance to the fact that a company credit card shouldn’t be used for personal purchases…..G This man twice forced ethics training on all sheriffs office employees incurring overtime and an outrageous expense. Do as I say not as I do. I am appalled and if this man has any sense of decency he would step down from his position immediately but that’s not how he rolls…Just ask anyone who attended Joe Delarosby’s service where he expressly wasn’t invited and showed up anyway and was ultimately addressed by Joe’s Dad, during his eulogy to his son, for attending. “The arrogance of office” Mr. Delarosby concluded in his address to Manfre at which time Mr. Delarosby received a standing ovation. Mr. Manfre decided to still remain for the duration of the service knowing that his remaining there was causing further discomfort to a grieving family. Arrogance….an insulting way of thinking or behaving that comes from believing that you are better, smarter, or more important than other people… That about sums it up. May the Ethics Commission hold Mr. Manfre to the highest measure of accountability possible and ends this power trip.
He’s lawyer by trade so he knows how to work the system..
Samuel L. Bronkowitz says
Is it normal for someone to steal from a business and then be allowed to just pay it back, “my bad guys, no harm no foul?” I think most companies would push for an arrest and jail time.
Truth Be Told says
Used a agency vehicle for personal use??? Didn’t Officer Dillard just get fired for the same reason??? So is there a double standard or what??,
This guy makes Don Fleming look like a choir boy.
Fleming did nothing wrong, he was set up – can’t compare apples and oranges…. Manfre doesn’t know what he did wrong… a lawyer to boot… oh well.
Buddy Negron says
Well now, doesn’t appear that it’s time for the unethical, non law enforcement Manfre’s and Flemings of the world to get the heck out of Flagler County and quit using the people’s money for their own personal gain??. Enough is enough! It is time people!! We need a career Florida law enforcement administrator who has the experience, ethics, honesty, education, and required skill set to help bring respect back to FCSO and bring urgently needed leadership to the agency and to Flagler County. The time is now…The election is Nov. 2016!!! God bless us all…
Ray Thorne says
You may not like Fleming and that’s ok as your posts lean toward Staly but the truth is Manfre the manipulator had friends in the newspaper at the time and used it to his advantage. I read the same stories on Fleming daily. Hindsight being 20/20 I’m sure he knows accepting the club card was a mistake but don’t forget he had an 8year tenure and did a lot of good things for the department and its deputies. Maybe you can promote your candidate a little more positively. Non law enforcement Manfres and Flemings? That stands true for Manfre… Fleming is a 30 year career cop.
Steve the Polack says
Hey Jimmy – maybe if you weren’t so unethical and didn’t pander so much only to your minority followers your agency’s moral would be just a little better. I’m just wondering when Flagler Live will finally report on the many other bone headed moves you’ve made this run around… Cheers to a new Sheriff in 2016…
The whole Sheriff election system needs to be abolished. The State should place police officials into the position based on years of service working for the particular State. I think it’s weird that this guy just shows up here from nowhere and is put into this position based on a popularity contest. The only thing that means is that he’s connected to the right people. It doesn’t mean he’s an experienced, ethical, and proven cop. If the State just randomly assigned proven police officers to the position, suddenly moved from one county to another, it would almost guaranty that he/she wouldn’t be connected dubiously to anyone living in that particular county. With this current system, we are simply allowing corruption to flourish. I’m not saying Manfre is corrupt or anything. I’m sure he’s working hard to fight crime here, wait, what crime?
It is all about who you know. So sad but true. An immature popularity contest. Wish to God it was different then this World would have higher standards on who should be in office. This is out of control.
What a creep. Now hire back all the talent he pissed away in his little temper tantrums, or, better yet, recall him.
the best is ….the time share belongs to Undersheriff Staly….. If that wasn’t a SETUP I DON’T KNOW WHATIS!!!! thats w hat you get for picking a republican as your second in command!!!!
Jason Stryker says
I do not know who is worse. Manfe or Staley. This article details the reasons that I find Manfre so distasteful. What it fails to expose is the role that Staley had in this administration. Staley was an active participant in Manfres administration as dozens of FCSO employees were fired for political payback after they committed years of service and dedication to the citizens of this county. Staley is known as the ax man. He never exposed Manfres abuses of power. Staley was even heard discussing his plan to run for sheriff 2 years ago. Staley is worth millions and he abused the sheriffs office for his own benefit. Remember he just “retired” a few months ago. This is soooo sad!
Buddy Negron says
Again, here’s Jason talking out of turn and without any knowledge of the truth. If you were to read the depo transcripts you would see that it was Staly who testified under oath that he warned Manfre several times and urges him not to do that. He went on to explain how Manfre ignored his recommendations and Staly told him he was handling it inappropriately and did not cover for or protect Manfre. Your so clouded by your anger for Staly, since you got yourself fired, that you blame him for everything wrong in your life and with the FCSO. You are mistaken and any objective, intelligent person can see that Staly did everything by the book at 100% correct. Just like he ALWAYS does. Jason, you’re wrong again!!!
Typical of his style. Yes, there is a policy. Maybe he should of took the time to read it! What comes around goes around. Where are your supporters now? I wish he could get fired for this.
Another “RIDICULOUS” Ethcis Complaint………..I guess they aren’t so RIDICULOUS after all. This is what we know about. What’s out there that we don’t know about?
Will the county or an insurance company pay Manfre’s fine? When Nate McLaughlin was fined by the Florida Elections Commission a couple of months ago (which went unreported) it appears his $250 fine was paid from a Trust Account. It must have been from the account of an attorney that our tax dollars paid for his/her services. Only problem is the complaint was a complaint related to McLaughlin’s reelection campaign and it was PERSONAL!
Keeping up with what has been reported there are Ethics complaints filed against the county attorney, and four out of 5 of the county commissioners. What the heck is in the water in Bunnell or are they all drinking the same cool-aid?
When will enough be enough with this Sheriff, he has shown his true colors over and over. He should be fined to to fullest extent. The I do not remeber what veghicle I driove, I had a memory lapse, this is a total line of garbage. Mr. Manfre, integrity is doing the right thing when no one is watching, you have proven that this is not one of your strenghths,
The credit card use and the gift would normally be enough to fire him. He was let off easy. Whatever happened with the FBI visit to the city manager for a “chit-chat” as he called it? Have a feeling that situation is not over. I don’t know why these local officials seem to think they’re above the law.
BIG JOHN says
How much do we taxpayers pay Sheriff Manfre? Maybe we should vote him a pay increase so that he will not use the government credit card for personal purchases. Also, why shouldn’t our esteemed sheriff have the right to drive his company car on personal trips? After all, isn’t that just another fringe benefit?? And why should we expect our chief law enforcement officer to follow the rules and report his gifts and other side jobs and favors he may perform on behalf of the elites??? Why should we expect honesty from our elected officials???? Don’t we know better?????
As Sheriff you are the policy maker, as Sheriff you must always just Do The Right Thing. Pretty simple, integrity is what a man does when nobody is looking. Looks to me like Manfre, Fleming, and Staley have struggled to just Too The Right Thing. It’s not something you do because there is a policy aginst doing the wrong thing. It’s just the right thing to do so you do it. Hopefully we’ll have a canidate emerge for Flagler County Sheriff who has a history of Doing The Right Thing, because that’s the best indicator of how he or she will perform their duties in the future; moving the Sheriff’s Department out of a cloud of suspicion giving the men and women who serve a solid example how to Do The Right Thing for the community as a whole and not the power grab and a free lunch or personal transportation. So in 2016 DO The Right Thing and select a candidate based on what kind of character they possess as your number one criteria.
Buddy Negron says
Staly shouldn’t be grouped in that bunch. He did everything right and the transcripts prove it. Staly is that kind of guy and would make a great sheriff! FCSO should be so lucky!!
Instead of waiting for the next county popularity contest in 2016, why dosent the city employee a police chief after a true nation wide search and start a regular police department for the citizens of Palm Coast. They pay nearly 3 million to the Sheriff’s Office now.Then there is a board and mayor to regulate this not elected official stuff. Let the County have their Sheriff’s Office.
Ray Thorne says
Do as I say not as I do. The past two years have seen a steady decline in staffing at the Sheriffs Office. Our neighborhoods suffer due to short staffing of patrol deputies and it seems no one in Palm Coast City Govt is willing to address the Sheriffs ongoing violation of the city contract for law enforcement services. Which by the way, calls for the reimbursement to the city for every deputy the Sheriff falls short of supplying the city per contract. The city (taxpayer) have been paying for ghost deputies for over two years.
Samuel L. Bronkowitz says
Guys, guys. You don’t understand. It’s really hard being a police officer, they get no respect and are underpaid. He HAD to use the credit card, that luncheon was rushing him and he perceived a threat. I’m sure a grand jury will clear him of all charges.
Ray Thorne says
He’s not a police officer….never was. He has no law enforcement experience.
Give the uniform back Jim, you shouldn’t be wearing it anyway.
Heading North says
1. Petition the Governor to remove him from office for severe policy and legal violations , along with a “no confidence” vote from a majority of the rank and file (if you could get a majority).
2. Elections are in 2016 — can the citizens wait that long for an honest, experienced leader? I doubt they could unless they continue to bury their heads in the sand ( or wherever they have their heads stuck)!!
He fired, chased off, demoted so many good experienced people already – how many more will be tolerated?
Citizens of Flagler WAKE UP—-DO SOMETHING OR FACE THE CONSEQUENCES– quit whining and ACT!!
He is another Dan Bennett!
Well said Big John. Ignorance is bliss. He is laughing all the way to the bank. Let’s not forget about the careers he has ruined, the marriages he has put undo pressure on, and the homes lost. All this for tis snake in the grass. I bet he even sleeps good at night. These people were my friends and coworkers and he has made their lives a living he’ll. Now it is his turn. God will take care of it.
The Elite group in Flagler County are so underhanded and just plain horrible.
John F. Pollinger says
Manfre makes good use of the “I don’t recall” or I don’t remember” defense. Attorneys or skilled politicians always fall back this defense of their actions for a simple reason. If they deny an infraction of a rule or law and it’s later proven to be true, the denial may lead to further consequences. “I don’t remember” or “I don’t recall” is ambiguous for that very reason. Alberto Gonzales, Attorney General under the Bush administration famously used the “I don’t recall” trick 71 times when he testified before congress in April of 2007. A later report found no evidence that Gonzales made false or misleading statements to Congress, thus clearing him of accusations of perjury. Organized crime figures notoriously used it as well when compelled to give testimony. (See any parallel?)
Commission Advocate Elizabeth Miller used Manfre’s own words in her report on his behavior but missed several quotes in the speech he gave the day he was sworn in:
“Without a firm attachment to unimpeachable integrity in our business and professional lives, we build on shifting sands, and there’s no future for any of us.’”
“but I will strive as sheriff to uphold the highest ethical standards…”(Flaglerlive)
He promised yearly ethical training for all employees, including himself and creating a citizen’s advisory board to evaluate how the agency is adhering to its standards. “They will be my distant mirror on how we are doing inside the office,” Manfre said, “but ultimately the buck stops here, as Harry Truman said.”(Flaglerlive)
“Integrity will be the foundation of all we do,” Manfre said. “Our model for this office will be accountability, integrity, respect — or the acronym AIR. Literally, it will be the organizational air we breath. It is said that accountability breeds responsibility. We will take ownership of our actions and be responsible for their consequences whether we perform our duties well or not.” (Daytona Beach News Journal)
“We will maintain honesty and good character in our actions, which are the underpinnings of integrity. Character is what you do when no one is looking.” (Daytona Beach News Journal)
The last quote is the most interesting of all. I used and believed that phrase during my campaign for sheriff in the last election. I was familiar with it since it was a framed quote on my wall during my tenure as chief of police.
Manfre has corrupted that phrase to mean……”My character is to do what I please as long as I believe no one is looking.”
Please, please please bring your PROVEN abilities to this poor agency!!!!!!!!!
Pay your own legal fees says
If Manfre is an attorney why did he not represent himself with the complaint? Why should self insured insurance (the tax payers) be paying legal expenses for his bad judgment? He should he reimbursing the tax payers or be charged with a crime? Taking a vacation is not part of his job as Sheriff.
30 year veteran Officer says
As a 30 year professional Law Enforcement Officer, and a Palm Coast resident for a few years now, I have no allegiance to either Manfre or Staly since I have never worked for them nor met them.
As tax payers, let’s look at this objectively. Manfre has in the past ordered Officers to come to work early and did not pay them, he got sued, lost and we paid. He has fired or forced a large number of personnel, we paid for the hiring and training of replacements (their turnover rate is tremendous). He has our tax paying dollars embroiled in this mess and I am sure Ms Bolante will file suit and win at the very least back pay. I also understand there is some questions about a rental cabin or house Manfre used that was owned by Staly.
As a further side note, Manfre is possibly just one of two Sheriffs in the entire State that has never been a Police Officer. He was and always will be an Attorney, to whom the State Bar should look at as well for all of these issues.
Therefore I think it is clear that Manfre needs to quietly finish out his term, hopefully without costing us more money, and fade away into retirement.
As for Staly, he was Manfre’s UnderSheriff the entire time these issues occurred. His response is Manfre would not listen. No Police Officer I know would stand by all of these issues and just shrug their shoulders because their boss would not listen. Staly filed ethics complaints against the Sheriff of Orange County while he was the UnderSheriff in Orange County, why didn’t he take the same indicative here? No Mr Staly, you own all of these issues along with Manfre.
I suppose Staly will now say that these issues, and perhaps others that could surface soon, are why he retired in a April. Well Mr Staly, real Police Officers don’t run from problems, they run to them and solve them.
Johnny Taxpayer says
You raise a good point, Manfre was a practicing Attorney between Sheriff’s stints, however he’s not currently listed on the Florida Bar’s website. There could be some exemption to public listing for a public official, either way I would think the Florida Bar would also have jurisdiction over these ethics complaints.
I can only hope that this is just the beginning of exposing this charlatan. There is so much more this lame excuse for a man has done than just these complaints. His conduct is unconscionable, his motives are for his own selfish gain and his cares not who he hurts. He has no idea how to manage an organization and certainly has no idea of what it means to be a law enforcement officer. He brings disgrace to the uniform and the profession. Hang in there FCSO…this most grave mistake is almost over.
Hey Buddy N… because Rick Staly said it…. it’s GOSPEL??? If I’m not mistaken wasn’t RICK STALY INVESTIGATED FOR ETHICS VIOLATIONS while in the OCSO??? Let’s ask Kevin Beary about Rick Staly…you my friend are VERY TEMPERAMENTAL!!!!
30 year veteran officer ……YOU MY FRIEND HIT THE NAIL SQUARE ON THE HEAD!!!! STALY IS AS QUILTY AS MANFRE!!
What scares me this time, is the same thing that happened this past election. Manfre got voted in, even after all the bad things he did the first term out. Voters put him back in office because a big deal was made about Fleming’s guest card, and people joined the hatred bandwagon without thinking things through. I don’t know how Pollinger got so few votes, as it seemed like the majority were going to vote for him. It makes me wonder sometimes about the 2012 elections procedure.
A lot of new people have moved into Flagler county, especially PC and have no idea about the politics here and what a poor excuse Manfre and others are. If a voter doesn’t really know who anyone is, they will vote for the incumbent, good, bad or indifferent—–what a crummy thought, I’d rather people not vote at all if they haven’t a clue about a candidate or only go by what a friend or neighbor says.
Samuel L. Bronkowitz says
I have to say, the naivete that many of the above commenters are showing regarding how sheriffs and their associated LEO should act is kind of hilarious. The entire structure of law enforcement is designed to pass the buck when someone gets in trouble, unless it’s really bad (e.g. the public makes a stink about it) and then some weak wristslapping gets handed out.
lena Marshal says
this is nothing but a witch hunt, to get rid of him, just like everyone else does in Flagler.
The school board, the City, and the rest of the town. The Professionalism among each of these employees is horrible.
Really, can you come up with anything else.?
Ray Thorne says
Really? No, the witch hunt started January 7th 2013 when Manfre had yet to be sworn in and was already terminating employees, and demoting employees without cause. His witch hunt continued for over a year into his tenure. I’m curious to know if you considered it a witch hunt to get rid of Fleming at the time? Somehow I doubt it. You say the professionalism amongst the employees who brought his unethical behavior to light is horrible? I guess that would go for the professionalism of the Ethics Commission as well since they found cause.
Ray Thorne says
Have you even looked at the documents lena Marshal? They’ve been conveniently placed with the article and are easily accessible. Take the time to read before assuming and calling employees horrible.
Samuel L. Bronkowitz says
Florida Ethics Commission, not Flagler Ethics Commission. Hope that helps!
Ray Thorne says
Since Manfre took office, the agency has lost 79 employees through firings, forced retirements and resignations. Another indicator that there is a serious problem with the Sherifs office under his leadership.
Time for Manfre to be removed from office. If he can’t exercise better judgement than what has been identified here, I fear he can’t provide the proper judgement for me to feel I’m protected by law enforcement in this county. I want law enforcement officers and leaders I can trust.
As for Staley he was part of it and never spoke out until now. Had he and Manfre not had a flling out he would bd singing a differen tune.
My Daily Rant says
Vote in Dave Purdy…