Monday, August 24, 2020


By August 24, 2020 letter, attorney JAMES EDWIN BEDSOLE quit as counsel for the St. Augustine Port, Waterway and Beach District Commission, effective with the October 2020 meeting.  JAMES EDWIN BEDSOLE gave the District little time to find a replacement.   BEDSOLE's letter refers to the election, and the fact that a new Board will be elected November 3, 2020 and take place later that month.  

With St. Augustine Beach environmental attorney Jane West running for the Board, BEDSOLE did the one thing that local government lawyers know how to do: count votes.  

As maladroit SAPWB attorney JAMES EDWIN BEDSOLE was most noted for:

1. Defense of illegally-serving Port District Commission Chair BARRY MARK BENJAMIN, a resident of Jacksonville who was permitted to vote from a boat he does not live aboard in a St. Augustine marina.

2. Defense of conflicts of interest revealed in annual audits.

3. Never having an actual contract for his services for some ten years, until 2019.

4. Repeated questionable instances of spending and contracting.

5. Failure to file litigation over Summer Haven River remediation breach of contract.

6. Opining that Board members don't need to be bonded.

7. Threatening Commissioner Sandy Flowers with a defamation lawsuit.

8. Persistent ADA violations -- failing to televise meetings. 

9. Open Records violations, including extorting fees wrongfully.  

10. Lack of a welcoming spirit -- BEDSOLE never once returned a telephone message from me, and once spewed personal insults at me in the presence of Commissioner Sandy Flowers during a meeting recess..

This is the fifth personnel change at the Port District in two years.

Now, watch the flood of applications from inept or conflicted attorneys who want to apply for the gig, probably to include louche large law firms that represent polluters and governments guilty of misfeasance, malfeasance, nonfeasance, waste, fraud, abuse, flummery, dupery and nincompoopery.

Will SAPWB hire a competent attorney?  Or will it hire one recommended by this turkey, who in turn was recommended by GEOFFREY DOBSON, who once opined that a no-bid $1.8 million luxury Bell Jet helicopter for mosquito control was "sole source," a determination that led to a contract that We, the People got cancelled in 2007.

It's our money.

It's our democracy that is at stake. 

The drama at the Port District will continue.

With corruption callously ignored by GANNETT'S incredible shrinking St. Augustine Record, the next meeting is at St. Augustine Beach City Hall, at 3 pm, Tuesday, August 25, 2020.

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