This is a stench in the nostrils of the State of Florida and the United States of America. I spoke out against this "negotiation" at Commission meeting February 7, 2023. Now we've learned negotiations will take place in secret, violating prior practice and precedent here, and our Florida Sunshine law.
Here's my February 8, 2023 complaint to our St. Johns County Inspector General, Hon. Nilsa Arissa:
As you inquired about whether any negotiations between Chairman Whitehurst and County Administrator Conrad regarding the County Administrator’s contract have to be held in the sunshine, please see the attached case, directly on point. In The Bradenton Times, Inc. v. Manatee County, Twelfth Judicial Circuit Case No. 2013-2597, the Court ruled that meetings between the Chairman of the Manatee County Board of County Commissioners and the Manatee County Administrator to negotiate the administrator’s contract, which arose as a result of Board motion authorizing such meetings, did not trigger the requirements of the Sunshine Law. Upon appeal, the Second District Court of Appeal affirmed this ruling. 136 So. 3d 598 (Fla. 2d DCA 2014).
Accordingly, any negotiations between Chairman Whitehurst and County Administrator Conrad are not required to take place in the sunshine. Of course, any proposal will be brought back before the Board for action in a publicly-noticed sunshine compliant Board meeting.
St. Johns County
500 San Sebastian View
St. Augustine, Florida 32084
(904) 209-0805 phone
(904) 209-0806 fax
From: Ed Slavin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Wednesday, February 8, 2023 10:47 AM
To: Commissioner Christian Whitehurst <email@example.com>; David Migut <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Hunter Conrad <email@example.com>
Cc: Commissioner Henry Dean <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Commissioner Sarah Arnold <email@example.com>; Commissioner Krista Joseph <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Commissioner Roy Alaimo <email@example.com>; Executive Investigations Complaints <firstname.lastname@example.org>; R.J. Larizza <email@example.com>; Bryan Shorstein <firstname.lastname@example.org>; email@example.com; Nicholas Weilhammer <firstname.lastname@example.org>; email@example.com
Subject: Sunshine Notice and Negotiation Meeting(s) Between County Commission Chair and County Admiistrator
Dear Messrs. Migut, Whitehurst and Conrad:
1. On February 7, 2023, our St. Johns County Commission delegated to the County Commission Chair Christian Whitehurst a meeting to negotiate a proposed renewal of the employment contract with the current County Administrator, Mr. HUNTER SINCLAIR CONRAD. No date and time was set for the meeting. This meeting must be open to the public and recorded, as were prior meetings to interview and negotiate contracts with our County Attorney and County Administrator.
2. Longtime County Attorney Patrick Francis McCormack advised BoCC that when a Commissioner interviews or negotiates with the County Administrator on his contract, it is a Sunshine meeting.
3. The meeting between the County Commission Chair and current Administrator on proposed renewal of the Administrator's contract is a Sunshine meeting under Florida law.
4. Please comply with the Sunshine law from this day forward, as I requested of Mr. Migut after the end of yesterday's (February 7, 2023) BoCC meeting, where this contract renewal notion was not on the agenda and voted without adequate public notice.
5. Please cease and desist from any more Sunshine lawbreaking, from this day forward.
With kindest regards, I am,
Florida Attorney General Government-in-the-Sunshine Manual at 10-11:
d. Delegation of authority to individual to act on behalf of the board
“The Sunshine Law does not provide for any ‘government by delegation’ exception; a public body cannot escape the application of the Sunshine Law by undertaking to delegate the conduct of public business through an alter ego.” IDS Properties, Inc. v. Town of Palm Beach, 279 So. 2d 353, 359 (Fla. 4th DCA 1973), certified question answered sub nom., Town of Palm Beach v. Gradison, 296 So. 2d 473 (Fla. 1974). See also News-Press Publishing Company, Inc. v. Carlson, 410 So. 2d 546, 547-548 (Fla. 2d DCA 1982) (when public officials delegate de facto authority to act on their behalf in the formulation, preparation, and promulgation of plans on which foreseeable action will be taken by those public officials, those delegated that authority stand in the shoes of such public officials insofar as the Sunshine Law is concerned).
..., the Attorney General’s Office has advised that a single member of a board who has been delegated the authority to negotiate the terms of a lease on behalf of the board “is subject to the Sunshine Law and, therefore, cannot negotiate for such a lease in secret.” AGO 74-294. Accord AGO 84-54. Similarly, when an individual member of a public board, or a board member and the executive director of the board, conducts a hearing or investigatory proceeding on behalf of the entire board, the hearing or proceeding must be held in the sunshine. AGOs 75-41 and 74-84. And see AGO 10-15 (special magistrate subject to the Sunshine Law when exercising the delegated decision-making authority of the value adjustment board).
Moreover, the Attorney General’s Office has advised that a single member of a board who has been delegated the authority to negotiate the terms of a lease on behalf of the board “is subject to the Sunshine Law and, therefore, cannot negotiate for such a lease in secret.” AGO 74-294. Accord AGO 84-54. Similarly, when an individual member of a public board, or a board member and the executive director of the board, conducts a hearing or investigatory proceeding on behalf of the entire board, the hearing or proceeding must be held in the sunshine. AGOs 75-41 and 74-84. And see AGO 10-15 (special magistrate subject to the Sunshine Law when exercising the delegated decision-making authority of the value adjustment board).
Also, Trump is spending the money that these idiots sent him for whatever he pleases. Twas an epic grift, snake oil graft, and bamboozle.
Whatever happened to the days when someone would just go ahead and own up and admit that they made a mistake for Christ sakes???
Florida is a corrupt police state. There are no separation of powers. They all operate on the same social darwinist, far right ideology therefore the legislator, governor, and yoyo on the bench feeding the corrupt concentration camps are basically the same individual. Same thing with the county commission. All these yoyos are the same cracker.
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