Nassau, Rayonier lawsuit set for closed session discussion
Image via Wildlight.

The case awaits action in the 1st District Court of Appeal.

There appears to be movement afoot in a legal dispute between Rayonier, its subsidiary Raydient, and Nassau County and former County Attorney Mike Mullin.

The county announced Wednesday that the Nassau County Board of County Commissioners will meet in closed session an hour before their regularly scheduled meeting April 11. The purpose of the meeting is for the new County Attorney, Denise May, to receive instruction from Commissioners about what direction they want to take the case.

The lawsuit stems from accusations that Mullin and the county played roles in destroying and withholding public records relevant to another lawsuit. That other suit concerns Rayonier’s allegations that Mullin took inside knowledge from his time working with the company to his job with Nassau County, and used that knowledge to thwart Rayonier’s property development goals around what’s now known as Wildlight.

A statement from the 4th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office on March 15 presented these accusations in detail, along with the belief by prosecutors that Mullin broke the law. As a compromise, Mullin agreed to resign rather than face prosecution.

“In light of recent developments reported in the press bearing or potentially bearing upon issues raised in this appeal, Appellants shall file a status update no later than April 1, 2022,” 1st District Court of Appeal judges ordered March 23. “The status update shall specifically address whether all or any part of this appeal has been rendered moot. … Appellees may file their own status update within five days thereafter. No reply will be permitted.

“The parties shall attach to their respective responses to this order true and accurate copies of any documents referenced in such responses. The parties’ status updates shall not include additional argument on the merits of the appeal.”

The case is in appellate court because Nassau County asserted it can’t be sued in this manner because of sovereign immunity, a legal concept by which the government cannot be sued without its consent.

Wes Wolfe

Wes Wolfe is a reporter who's worked for newspapers across the South, winning press association awards for his work in Georgia and the Carolinas. He lives in Jacksonville and previously covered state politics, environmental issues and courts for the News-Leader in Fernandina Beach. You can reach Wes at [email protected] and @WesWolfeFP. Facebook:

One comment

  • Reedman Bassoon

    April 6, 2022 at 10:57 am

    Did I read this correct? STATE PROSECUTERS are saying a county attorney broke the law? Sounds like a whole bunch of people here aren’t getting Christmas cards from the Florida Bar Association. P.S. If Rayonier is filing a civil suit to recover damages, I doubt sovereign immunity applies.

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