Unequivocally referring to the Operations Center as a sick building, Sheriff Rick Staly made the demand for alternate space to County Administrator Craig Coffey, who pushed to buy the old hospital in 2013 and convert it.
The Florida Commission on Ethics Friday unanimously approved a $2,500 fine on Flagler County Commissioner Barbara Revels over two violations of the state ethics law, stemming from Revels’s role in the county’s purchase of the old Memorial hospital in Bunnell.
Though she was the swing vote, County Commissioner Barbara Revels now concedes that she should have abstained from voting to buy the old Memorial hospital in Bunnell in 2013, and that she should have filed a conflict-of-interest form.
Instead of a $6.2 million demolition and construction project, the lowest bid for the sheriff’s HQ came in at $4.2 million, with the sheriff gaining 9,000 more square feet in the bargain, for a total of 35,000 square feet.
A suit by a group that calls itself the Flagler Palm Coast Watchdogs, raising a conflict of interest issue with a county commissioner during the Memorial Hospital buy last year, does not belong in circuit court, the county argues.
County Attorney Al Hadeed countered a lawsuit alleging ethical improprieties by Commissioner Barbara Revels in last summer’s purchase of the old Memorial Hospital by claiming that the group suing has no standing in circuit court, but can take its case to the Florida Commission on Ethics.
A group calling itself the Flagler Palm Coast Watchdogs filed a lawsuit against Flagler County, seeking to stop construction on the old Memorial Hospital property slated to be the sheriff’s headquarters, and alleging that Commissioner Barbara Revels did not disclose owning shares in the bank run by one of the men who sold the hospital to the county for $1.23 million last August.