JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Sheriff Mike Williams responded newshounds’ questions Monday about dwelling in Nassau County for the previous yr whilst serving as Jacksonville’s sheriff.
News4JAX reporter Jim Piggott requested, “Can you tell us why you didn’t tell anybody?” Sheriff Williams responded, “Listen, I think at the end of the day that inconsistency with the charter is something that was always there. Since 2010, I don’t think it was something that just appeared out of the blue, so as we move through the next couple of days, we will come to a resolution.”
(Click the play button at once under to look at the whole, uncut interview with Sheriff Mike Williams)
Records display Williams and his spouse offered their Jacksonville house a yr in the past, checklist a brand new cope with in Nassau County at the deed promoting their house.
According to the town’s constitution: “If the sheriff should die, resign, or remove his residence from Duval County during his term of office, or be removed from office, the office of sheriff shall become vacant.”
However, Williams issues to state regulation, which doesn’t require a sheriff to reside in a county the place they serve, and Williams mentioned the state regulation would overrule the town constitution on this case.
Piggott additionally requested the sheriff, “A lot of people, and you’ve read the comments, they believe this just isn’t right, to be the sheriff and move out of town. They say it shows Jacksonville isn’t safe, what do you tell them?”
Sheriff Williams responded, “I completely disagree. We are a big metropolitan area, so there’s a lot of people that work and live in Jacksonville without residing in Jacksonville. JSO, me included, we are working everyday to keep people safe, and I think there’s example after example of that, so I disagree.”
News4JAX political analyst Rick Mullaney, the director of the Public Policy Institute at Jacksonville University, anticipates native regulation will trump state regulation.
“My legal opinion is that the charter does apply. And by that I mean, the residency requirement applies,” Mullaney mentioned. “There does not appear, really, to be a conflict between state law here and the charter. In fact, the state law appears to be silent and local governments, charter counties can impose their own requirements such as term limits.”
Mullaney says the state of affairs is extraordinary, however to a point comprehensible as a result of there’s been a large number of litigation about time period limits, residency necessities, constitutional officials and their appointments.
When requested if there can be any state of affairs that will make him transfer again to Duval County, Sheriff Williams mentioned, “There could be, there could be. That is part of the discussion we are having and we will conclude this rather quickly.”
The sheriff mentioned he’s going to be talking with the town’s Office of General Counsel on Tuesday.
Mullaney mentioned he doesn’t assume Williams used to be looking to misinform the general public, however mentioned he must have checked with the overall recommend earlier than transferring out of the county he took his oath in.
“And I think clearly in good faith, he feels very strongly, from what I’ve read and from what I can determine, that he’s on good ground here. And he may have been advised by someone that he had good ground here, good grounds, and so he could move,” Mullaney mentioned. “However, I do think it’s an area in which there’s going to be some disagreement, some legal disagreement. So he may not have gotten a good counsel in some place.”
Duval Democrats and Republicans weigh in
Monday afternoon, the Duval Republican Party issued a observation that reads, “Sheriff Mike Williams and the Sheriff’s Office continue to serve our city with the utmost distinction and professionalism. The Republican Party continues to back the blue, our Sheriff and the brave men and women of law enforcement.”
The Duval Democratic Party’s observation learn, “Mike Williams, by his actions, abandoned the Office of Duval County Sheriff on March 4, 2021. The charter is clear, Duval’s elected Sheriff must live within the county boundaries — full stop.”
Lawmakers and neighborhood leaders react
We requested contributors of the Jacksonville City Council their ideas in this factor.
City council member Matt Carlucci mentioned, “I think it was a mistake, and I hope he corrects it and moves back to Jacksonville. He is a good man and I want to see him finish up his term. This could be a tempest in a teapot if he does the right thing.”
City council member Joyce Morgan mentioned, “As a city council member when I registered and filed to run, I filed under the impression that I have to live in the district that I serve. So I think that is the expectation and I think that’s what all the citizens would say.”
News4JAX additionally spoke with Congressman John Rutherford, a former Jacksonville sheriff. He mentioned, “It’s the same way I feel about congressional members not living in their districts. I would live in the district I serve.”
Ben Frazier, president of the Northside Coalition of Jacksonville, issued a observation the reads partly: “The city’s top cop is violating the letter and spirit of the law.”
Mayor Lenny Curry confirmed his strengthen for Sheriff Williams with a tweet.
I’ve labored with and served with Sheriff Williams @jsosheriff for nearly 7 years. He is all the time engaged , provide and cares deeply about this neighborhood
— Lenny Curry (@lennycurry) May 30, 2022
City Council President Sam Newby needs a criminal opinion from the town’s Office of General Counsel through 5 p.m. Wednesday. It’s unclear if the Counsel may have it finished through then.
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