Thursday, April 28, 2022


  1. An angry Volusia County lawyer spent thousands of dollars of our tax money resisting Open Records requests and taking potshots at an elected official who has been trying to clean up our corrupt St. Augustine Port, Waterway and Beach District Commission, an independent special taxing district long used to fund City of St. Augustine projects without accountability or grant applications. 
  2. In 2018, reformer Sandra Flowers, a sailing enthusiast, was elected a St. Augustine Port, Waterway and Beach District Commissioner as a reformer, defeating Jerry Dixon. She is loved by the local boating community. 
  3. Port Commissioner Sandy Flowers has worked to expose the flummery from the District, including its longtime Chairman of 20 years, yacht salesman BARRY MARK BENJAMIN, a non-resident of the District.  
  4. Ms. Flowers caught BENJAMIN illegally voting when he was not a resident of the District, and not even a resident of St. Johns County.  
  5. Then-Port board member Jay Bliss filed a complaint with the Election Commission, as did two others.  The three (3) sworn, verified complaints against Respondent BENJAMIN were filed with the Florida Elections Commission, bearing complaint numbers FEC12-174 (Jay Bliss, filed August 3, 2012), FEC-12-259 (Charles Thomas Meide, filed September 17, 2012), and 12-260 (F. Brendan Burke, September 7, 2012).
  6. But BENJAMIN emitted ink, like an escaping octopus. BENJAMIN was illegally represented by the longtime Port attorney, JAMES BEDSOLE, a blatant conflict of interest.  As so often happens in Florida, it appears that the case was "fixed."  No investigation by Florida Elections Commission. No hearing was ever. Foonote: The incurious Election Commission General Counsel, ERIC MATTHEW LIPTON, was recently sentenced to prison after he pled guilty to child pornography charges.
  7. Bumptious bully BARRY BENJAMIN seemed immune to criticism. Tolerated by fellow Commissioners for years, dictatorial Chairman BARRY BENJAMIN purported to vote from a boat at a 65 Lewis Blvd. marina where he did not live.  
  8. Chairman BENJAMIN committed voter fraud and got away with it.  He was never prosecuted.
  9. BENJAMIN filed to run for re-elcection in 2020 but never qualified. 
  10. In October 2019, I filed a 120 paragraph complaint with our Election Supervisor, Vichy Oakes, who finally acted when the marina owners told her that BENJAMIN did not live on a boat there.  Read my complaint here.
  11. BENJAMIN, a Dull Republican, was first elected in 2000, rarely attended meeting of the Guana-Tolomato-Matanzas National Estueraine Research Reserve advisory board, contributing nothing of substance.  
  12. Then the Establishment recruited an unqualified hack and hired him as District lawyer. 
  13. That lawyer is CLAY LINFORD MEEK, a Federalist Society member and goofy graduate of the Mississippi College of Law and Bethel College in Tennessee.  
  14. MEEK's retaliatory demand to place on the agenda his anti-Flowers fatwa  was rejected 3-2 on April 19, 2022.  
  15. MEEK read a PowerPoint at Commissioners, unable to figure out the AV machinery in the St. Augustine Beach City Commission meeting room, where the Port meets on the third Wednesday each month.  
  16. The Port District repeatedly refuses to schedule its meetings to another time or location, and St. Augustine Beach City Manager Bruce Max Royle obligingly refuses to tape or livestream Port meetings. 
  17. Mendacious CLAY MEEK flopped in his unauthorized effort to euchre, con and persuade Commissioners to ask Governor DeSNATIS to remove Commissioner Sandy Flowers from office, or to sanction her for making records requests and criticizing inaction on Summer Haven dredging litigation, which MEEK has failed to file. 
  18. MEEK's attempted First Amendment violation was foiled by vote of Vice Chair Chris Way, Commissioner Jane West and Commissioner Flowers on April 19, 2022.
  19. Voting with MEEK were gullible Chair MATTHEW BROWN and Commissioner THOMAS RIVERS, an extremist Republican apparatchik who has emitted animus toward Ms. Flowers and me.  
  20. Chairman BROWN is most noted for his effrontery in violating F.S. 286.0114 and the First Amendment by denying public comment before votes are taken.  He did so when the motion was made to place an item on the agenda to discuss censuring Commissioner Flowers or referring her to the Governor.  He even threatened use of law enforcement to silence public comment. No class. 
  21. BROWN is a 2000 graduate of St. Augustine High School.
  22. BROWN is a graduate of NYU and NYU's law school.
  23. In his day job, BROWN inveighs against consumer rights and  remedies for medical malpractice and other torts in his $108,000/year plus $5317 in expenses, a work-at-home sinecure as Executive Director of something called "The Common Good Institute, Inc," EIN 13-3859811  non-profit group aligned with New York corporation attorneys, according to its 2020 IRS Form 990, on the Guidestar website.
  24. Seeking to cabin our sacredSeventh Amendment rights to civil jury trials in medical malpractice and other cases, BROWN's non-profit employer since 2011 brags that: "Common Good is a national, bipartisan coalition to overhaul America's lawsuit culture and restore the role of common sense in American institutions. Fear of litigation has undermined our freedom to make sensible decisions. Doctors, teachers, even little league coaches, find their daily decisions hampered by legal fear. Our system of justice, long America's greatest pride, is now considered a tool for extortion, not balance."
  25. Giving gullible Port Chairman MATTHEW BROWN crummy legal advice, and tolerated by the other Port Board member, CLAY MEEK is a disgrace to the Port district. 
  26. CLAY LINTON MEEK falsely identified himself as "General Counsel" in maladroit December 18, 2021 legislative testimony (fast forward to 47:36), clumsily requesting expansion of the Port district to include the entire County without authorization or valid policy reason.  MEEK also called himself "General Counsel" on his LinkedIn profile, where bis photo shows a   maniacal jerk countenance while skydiving,
  27. Commissioner Flowers revealed on April 19, 2022 that CLAY MEEK has no legal malpractice insurance, refusing to answer her question while stating "that is neither here nor there."
  28. CLAY MEEK has failed to file litigation over botched dredging of the Summer Haven River.  Wonder why?
  29. "The clock is ticking," Flowers said, and Taylor Engineering could escape liability 
  30. MEEK has attempted to charge hundreds of dollars in retaliatory deposits in retaliation for First Amendment protected activity: (A) demanding $900 from me for records that did not exist on Port District members' longtime failure and refusal to obtain bonds; and (B) recently demanding a $500 deposit for two hours of clerical work to locale his e-mails.
  31. MEEK is a geeky, goofy, presumptuous  worker's compensation defense attorney duked into the job shortly before Ms. West was sworn into office. 
  32. The City Hall Establishment, led by JAMES PIGGOTT, St. Augustine General Services Director, wants to silence Commissioner Flowers.   
  33. PIGGOTT was controversial City Manager WILLIAM BARRY HARRISS' last hire, and is the former Inspector General of the Maine National Guard.  
  34. PIGGOTT has been helpful and courteous on Open Records requests I've made to the City,.
  35. But his lack of manners in Port meetings is extraordinary, repeatedly whispering and gossiping, never once gaveled by Chairman BROWN.
  36. City Hall seemed  anxious to have another inept lawyer in the job.
  37. Contumacious, contemptuous CLAY LINFORD MEEK: has a big ego, delusions of adequacy, and a massive chip on his shoulder.
  38. MEEK harbors strange ideas about Sunshine and Open Records laws, and is saddled with a chauvinistic attitude toward assertive women, including his ex-wife.
  39. The Florida Bar once sanctioned MEEK for his effort to keep a deponent in civil litigation from leaving the room.
  40. MEEK's  mode and manner are threatening -- he is not unlike a threatening "dockside bully,".in the words of Saint Thomas More in "A Man For All Seasons."
  41. MEEK was not asked by any Board member to do his "research" and volunteered he would not bill the District for it if it did not want to pay him for it.  
  42. Commissioner Jane West said she did not want to pay for it.  No one disagreed with her.
  43. Disgraced by the Board's lack of confidence, it is time for CLAY MEEK to go.
  44. Commissioner Flowers publicly vowed to sue MEEK and file a Bar complaint  MEEK says that he is "a Special/General Magistrate for local governmental entities including Volusia County and the City of DeLand, hearing various matters involving Codes and Ordinances."
  45. This  vicious, vacuous, vituperative, angry, insecure, obstreperous, ill-mannered, unsophisticated, unethical, smarmy, wormy attorney for the St. Augustine Port, Waterway and Beach District, made it his mission in life to attack reformer SAPWB Commissioner Flowers.  
  46. MEEK's finger-pointing, disdainful, disorganized, domineering yammering at an elected official, Sandy Flowers, showed he was out of his league, attempting to dictate with false accusations and illogical legal conclusions.  
  47. Never once did MEEK talk about the First Amendment.  But he gave political advice, stating he wanted to put his proposal on the agenda after the filing deadline for Commissioner Flowers to run for re-election, seeking to chill, coerce and intimidate her First Amendment protected activity in criticizing SAPWB's maladministration, 
  48. It's time for CLAY MEEK to go back to workers' compensation defense and leave decent Americans alone.  We have work to do here to protect our environment and the public fisc.  MEEK shirks work and overbills SAPWB., 
  49. CLAY MEEK has done nothing to protect taxpayers from fiascos at the Port District -- he has been a slow-witted, slow-moving disaster since his contrived hiring in 2020.
  50. Quo vobis videtor?  (What do y'all reckon?)

Clay Meek

CLAY MEEK, tedious termagant attorney

unethical longtime former Port Chairman, a non-resident of St. Johns County, awarded a plaque despite voter fraud, voting from a boat where did did not live when he was in fact a resident of Duval County

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