Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Interviews for Flagler County Judge: Several Convincing Choices, A Few Odd and Startling Ones (FlaglerLive)

Controversial St. Johns County Sheriff DAViD SHOAR's General Counsel and Undersheriff, MATTHEW CLINE,is on the panel picking judges for the Seventh Judicial Circuit.

Wonder why?

Among the 24 applicants for a Flagler County judgeship were St. Augustine City Attorney John Cary.

From FlaglerLive:

Interviews for Flagler County Judge: Several Convincing Choices, A Few Odd and Startling Ones

 | AUGUST 28, 2019 

The stronger candidates of the afternoon also included Scott Spardely, the Flagler Beach attorney, who had one of the richer resumes of professional and life experiences plus service, Andrea Totten, a long-time Palm Coast resident and prosecutor with air-tight credentials, and Kip Miller, a Flagler Beach resident also with vast experience. Mitch Novas, a perennial candidate for appointment, and Assistant Public Defender Regina Nunnally,  who has the longest tenure of any candidate at the Flagler courthouse itself (“I’ve been here long enough to represent two generations of people coming through”) made strong cases, but Nunnally focused more on tenure than judicial savvy while Novas was nakedly, almost distastefully political, boasting of helping other judges get elected, then going on to speak of his political connections. 
The afternoon session had its share of eyebrow raising candidate, like Milan “Bo” Samargya, the only candidate who referred to himself in the third person (twice) when he was not boasting of the “lucrative” practices he ran. Ryan Will, an assistant state prosecutor who ran in the 2018 election for a circuit judge position, has a stellar profile on paper, but he blamed losing his election on the fact that he was running against a woman at a time when many women candidates were winning office. He did not seem to realize that his comment was as sexist as it as resentful, a resentment that echoed again in further comments about his opponent (now Judge) Linda Gaustad,  whose win he said he considered to be “a fluke.” He never mentioned that a Florida Bar sanction and a public reprimand by the state supreme court may have played a role in his defeat. 
Of course the most anticipated of the interviews, even among some of the commissioners–judging from comments made before the interview–was that of Jim Manfre, Flagler’s former sheriff for two separate terms and a former prosecutor currently in private practice. It was vintage Manfre: a mixture of self-exoneration, when he addressed his past issues with the state ethics commission, moments of brilliance and ease when answering strictly legal and judicial questions, a touching opening that described how a family tragedy led him to the law, and finally defiance and political advocacy: ““I don’t think the county would react very well to an appointment from outside this county,” Manfre told commissioners, then he went on to say that if there were an outside appointment, he’d run against him or her at the next election. 

With one or two exceptions, and even those just for a few interviews, the day-long exercise drew no audience and only two reporters, including one from Volusia Exposed, which has regularly recorded videos of the interviews and made those of shortlisted candidates available on its website. 

Flagler County Judge: The Candidates

Interview Time
Alexander AlvarezFlaglerState courts hearing officer8:45
Craig AtackFlaglerAssistant public defender9:00
John CarySt. JohnsAssistant city attorney9:15
Lynette CallenderFlaglerPrivate practice9:30
Joshua DavisFlaglerPrivate practice9:45
Steven DeLarocheVolusiaPrivate practice10:00
Christopher DelBeneSt. JohnsPrivate practice10:30
Wesley FlaglerFlaglerDCF attorney10:45
Monique HawkinsSt. JohnsPrivate11:00
Alan HoltVolusiaPrivate11:15
William Hyland JrVolusiaPrivate11:30
Mark JohnsonSt. JohnsAssistant state attorney11:45
LUNCH (Not provided)
Jim ManfreFlaglerPrivate practice1:00
G. Kipling MillerFlaglerPrivate practice1:15
James Nealis IVSt. JohnsAssistant state attorney1:30
Mitchel NovasVolusiaAssistant public defender1:45
Regina NunnallyVolusiaAssistant public defender2:00
Milan "Bo" SamargyaSt. JohnsPrivate practice2:15
Sebrina SlackVolusiaPrivate practice2:45
Scott SpradleyFlaglerPrivate practice3:00
Judy StewartLakePrivate practice3:15
Andrea TottenFlaglerAssistant attorney general3:30
Alicia WashingtonFlaglerPrivate practice3:45
Joseph Ryan WillVolusiaAssistant state attorney4:00

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