Sally Boynton Brown resigns Florida Dems presidency

Sally Boynton Brown

In a message to Florida Democratic Party leaders, embattled Sally Boynton Brown resigned her presidency — after “prayerful consideration”  effective immediately.

“The people of the Democratic Party are our greatest asset,” Boynton Brown wrote Monday afternoon, “and I hope you never forget the power you have to make real change happen every day with your actions.”

Boynton Brown added that staff “has been put through so much” and urged the leaders on the email to “follow my lead and put them above all else as you move forward.”

Boynton Brown is the latest domino to fall in the FDP hierarchy, following the swift resignation of FDP Chair Stephen Bittel — who was called “creepy” and “demeaning” toward women by anonymous sources.

Her abrupt resignation came as a surprise to several staffers, who on Monday morning thought she would keep her job despite coming under fire over the weekend for defending Bittel in a letter and being accused by two former staffers of “enabling” his misconduct toward women in the workplace, as Ana Ceballos reported Sunday on this site.

The systematic misconduct the women described included Bittel asking them about their sex lives on a daily basis and asking them if they had a lot of sex at their young age. The women were in their 20s.

“He would do it in front of Sally,” one woman told Ceballos. “He was really into talking about sex, and if you went along with his conversations, he would be more amicable to working with you.”

Ceballos’ reporting also exposed a letter to party members that clearly raised more questions than it answered.

“In my experience, Chairman Bittel has been refreshingly open to feedback, given by myself and others, about his conversational style and modified his approached when he learned that others found it off-putting.” Boynton Brown wrote.

The letter opened Boynton Brown to criticism from fellow Democrats who said the message was “self-serving.”

Boynton Brown’s own phrasings about sexual harassment — a major issue in light of resigned Florida state Sen. Jeff Clemens and embattled Sen. Jack Latvala, who has been accused of sexually harassing and groping six women — were noteworthy also, with the arguable nadir being a reference to “sexy harassment” in a Nov. 12 memo to staff to go over the personnel policy.

Meanwhile, the FDP is in apparent disarray, with a chair election and a presidency that both need filling, even as the all-important 2018 campaign season nears. Palm Beach County Democratic Chair Terrie Rizzo announced Monday her bid to be the new chair hours after Judy Mount, who will act as interim chair until a replacement is elected Dec. 9, said she reconsidered and will not be running for the post.

After Boyton Brown announced her abrupt departure, Bittel accelerated his resignation, making it official by the end of Monday.

Ana Ceballos contributed to this post.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Christopher M. Kennard

    November 20, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    OK, folks . . . I am a former Democrat who has always been very involved in the political arena, going back to the Vietnam War era when I was a Conscientious Objector, Draft Counselor and SDS member who understood the connections between money and politics. I do my research and am thorough conducting realistic, meaningful background checks on any candidate for whom I may vote; be they on the local, state or national level when campaigning for elective public office. I vote for ideas, specific laws or public policies and for individuals who are candidates for public office. I do not vote party line.

    It may be a welcomed move to remove vestiges of corruption which likely still exist dating back to the shambles of dishonest state and presidential primary elections in Florida.

    Many honest Florida voters who would like to vote for Democratic candidates who seem worthy might greatly appreciate such a reassuring sweeping clean move, particularly since the political party itself remains in such a mess. It might be best to sweep the halls and offices clean, start over with new political party workers who are not associated with the lengthy poor elections record or any taint of political corruption that remains today.

    Folks like me might become impressed and have high hopes which move us to join back up again as political supporters . . . particularly if candidates of the high caliber of Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders are running on the Democratic ticket in the 2018 and 2020 elections coming up soon. This ought to be the year when women achieve political parity by being elected to public office around the country, and I know several I hope to be able to vote to elect this coming election and in 2020.

    The above applies to the Republican Party as well. Be good to see solid honest folks in both major political parties clean house and toss out the divisive and corrupt politicos who have done little but cause our nation great trouble. Party over nation is never a good idea.

  • Dinna Bird

    November 21, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    I agree above comment i don’t know if you are aware that Many counties did interview the Chair and several other canididates.
    These kind of behaviors are not found in criminal records if we were to do criminal background checks; he was never charge because he never touched them -his words and thoughts emotional wrecked these young ladies. He was emotional “playing” with them which he did not welcome.
    As for the Executuve President, I thought at first she resigned because she could run for his position. But she has not been in Florida not even six months. She has a family. But the more I read and heard, it disturbs me. I like her alot. She is a wonderful teacher and leader. We don’t know all of the facts based on story telling through Facebook or the news media. We need to be “forgiven” and pray for them. We need to be stronger and be more
    aware at any time of our sorroundings. We are right now angry he would do this when we are at our peak of getting back our party. We need purity we need stronge leaders.

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