UPDATE 12-5-18: County Attorney Dan Eckert has released a memo regarding Amendment 10.
Earlier reporting below.
Daytona Beach, FL – Volusia County’s Sheriff vows to use every legal recourse at his disposal to stop the county from finding a way out of having to implement what supporters call the “protection” amendment.
In a nearly 30-minute press conference this morning (December 5th) at the Deputy Stephen Saboda Training Center, Mike Chitwood repeatedly blasted the members of the Volusia County Council for renewing the legal challenge to Amendment 10 during yesterday’s meeting, calling it an “affront to democracy”.
He also noted that the Florida Sheriffs Association and other groups are ready to come in and battle the county in court if necessary, though Chitwood expects all the legal challenges to take “years” to get resolved.
WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE
Amendment 10 – which, among other things, would allow the Sheriff more control over how he runs his department – passed statewide during last month’s elections with 63% of the vote, including 54% in Volusia County.
Prior to that, Volusia County attempted and failed in various Florida courts, including the state Supreme Court, to have it removed from the ballot, claiming that it violated the county’s charter system of government.
Chitwood saved some of his ire for Volusia County Attorney Dan Eckert, calling him a “slimeball” for bringing the matter up to the VCC during his comment time at the end instead of making it a separate item on the agenda, giving the public more notice.
“It has been [the] biggest disappointment in my career to work with such a bunch of sneak thieves as we have in our County Council,” Chitwood added.
The Sheriff demanded the resignation of VCC Chair Ed Kelley, saying he’s a “puppet” and an “empty suit” beholden to his campaign donors and other special interests to keep the status quo.
“These folks are hand-picked to run for office by a small group of rich individuals and they take their marching orders from them,” Chitwood said, referring to the rest of the VCC. “That’s why we’ve got a county Chair who is useless, who hasn’t done a [expletive deleted] thing.”
Prior to the conference, Eckert’s and Kelley’s mugshots were placed on a posterboard alongside the other five VCC members who voted for taking up the legal challenge again, one Eckert wrote is based on the state’s highest court not clarifying whether or not Amendment 10 should apply to charter counties like Volusia.
In that memo, Eckert argued that Volusia shouldn’t be affected by Amendment 10 because only Volusia voters have the right to make that change instead of having it imposed on them by the rest of the state.
In the end, everyone on the VCC voted to let Eckert move forward except for District 4 Representative Heather Post, whom Chitwood praised as being the only one on the VCC who “has any guts to stand up for the people”.