Wednesday, May 24, 2023


Disgraced ex-Mayor of St. Augustine JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, JR. for years recruited elder law clients as President of the St. Johns Counil on Aging, promising "free wills" for people over 65.  His law license is now suspended for three months for self-dealing, naming himself as a substitute trustee in some of those "free" wills. 

Now, on the eve of COA's 50th anniversary, JOE BOLES has resigned as President of COA.

Steve Harrison is the new COA President.  Congrats! 

  • JOE BOLES specialized in debt collection and garnishment.
  • When Congress made the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act applicable to law firms in 1992, BOLES changed his business model to Elder Law.
  • BOLES chaired the Council on Aging and used it to get referrals to write wills and trusts.
  • BOLES was chair of the St. Augustine Planning and Zoning Board.>BOLES was president/chair of the St. Augustine Art Association.
  • ">BOLES was chair of the St. Augustine Rotary Club.
  • BOLES was vice chair of the Welfare Federation.
  • BOLES was board member of Buckingham Smith Benevolent Association
  • BOLES was elected Commissioner in 2002.
  • BOLES was Mayor from 2006-2014. 
  • In 2014, BOLES was defeated by reformer Nancy Shaver, who served 1550 days until suffering a stroke on February 25, 2019, resigning on February 28, 2019.
  • During the 2014 primary election campaign, BOLES spent the lion's share of his budget on radio advertising on the local Rush Limbaugh Hate Radio station, WFOY.
  • During the 2014 general election campaign, JOE BOLES went door-to-door begging elders for their votes and informing them that he heard that Nancy Shaver was not married to her deceased husband, spreading Lashon hara and slander.
  • BOLES procured an unauthorized endorsement from Fr. Thomas Willis, longtime pastor of the St. Augustine Cathedral-Basilica, which I reported to the Bishop.
  • When BOLES lost by 119 votes, he never telephoned Nancy Shaver to congratulate her until I pointed out his effrontery and gracelessness on this blog.
  • When Mayor Shaver was sworn in as Mayor on December 1, 2014, by Florida Supreme Court Justice Peggy Quince, BOLES refused to shake hands with our new Mayor.
  • BOLES, et al. ran the City of St. Augustine like a personal fiefdom.
  • BOLES and ex-Mayor CLAUDE LEONARD WEEKS, JR. long used City resources to feather their own nests.
  • As President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said in his Four Freedoms speech in 1941, "We must especially beware of that small group of selfish men who would clip the wings of the American eagle in order to feather their own nests. "
  • BOLES refused to make corporations disclose ownership when they sought zoning favors.
  • BOLES and WEEKS still profit from a 1989 no-bid deal where they pay below-market rent for 81 St. George Street, site of the Florida Cracker Cafe and Savannah Sweets.  
  • BOLES and WEEKS were exposed for this deal by Folio Weekly Magazine in August 2014, in a cover story, quoting me.
  • BOLES refused to talk to Folio abut the deal, deferring to his non-lawyer buddy, LEN WEEKS, to answer questions.
  • BOLES' buddy WEEKS destroyed 211-year old DON PEDRO FORNELLS HOUSE on September 25, 2014, a date that will life in infamy, working without permits, fined only $3700.
  • St. Augustine City Attorney ISABELLE CHRISTINE LOPEZ hugged LEN WEEKS after the Code Enforcement proceeding.
  • Louche LOPEZ called me "sexist" for suggesting it was an appearance of impropriety for her to hug LEN WEEKS, saying as a woman, she can hug anyone she wants.
  • BOLES came back to City Commission to speak in support of KANTI PATEL's controversial San Marco Hotel project, approved by vote of 4-1, Mayor Nancy Shaver, dissenting.
  • BOLES former college and law school roommate, Tracy Upchurch, was named the interim Mayor of the City of St. Augustine, selected March 4, 2019 without meaningful public comment or disclosure of candidates.
  • This was the Triple Crown of Lawbreaking, violating the First Amendment, F.S. 119 and F.S. 286.
  • BOLES helped pick the new Mayor after reform Mayor Nancy Shaver's stroke and resignation.
  • BOLES' cronies on Commission sought to make the job of Mayor no longer elected by the people, attempting to undo progressive reforms from the 1980s.
  • The current Mayor is NANCY SIKES-KLINE, who once wrote speeches for BOLES.
  • St. Augustine continues to harass, intimidate oppress our town's buskers, street artists and musicians on St. George Street, bad policy pushed by greedy businessmen like BOLES and WEEKS.

  • (Photo credit:  the late artist Greg Travous, Photoshop, and Hans Holbein the Younger)

    John Stavely | Flickr

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