Jax General Counsel would have ruled Sheriff’s Office vacant
Sheriff Mike Williams.

mike williams
'This language is clear and unambiguous and therefore not subject to interpretation.'

Jacksonville City Council President Sam Newby refused to accept a memo from the city’s General Counsel on whether Sheriff Mike Williams had violated the charter by moving out of Duval County.

But a draft version of the memo obtained by Florida Politics suggests the city’s lead lawyer would have declared the office vacant because Williams contravened the charter residency requirement.

“For the above-stated reasons, I hereby determine that the office of Jacksonville Sheriff is hereby deemed to be vacant in accordance with section 8.03 of the Jacksonville Charter as of 2:00 P.M. on June 2, 2022. Any actions taken and compensation received by the Sheriff between such time as he removed his residence outside of Duval County and the effective date and time of this vacancy determination are valid actions and compensation of the Jacksonville Sheriff by virtue of his de facto status in that office.”

In other words, the memo does not recommend a clawback of Williams’ salary and benefits while he lived in Nassau County, but would recommend immediate vacancy ahead of Williams’ announced retirement, slated for June 10.

The charter says that if “the Sheriff should die, resign, or remove his residence from Duval County during his term of office, or be removed from office, the office of sheriff shall become vacant.” Williams moved his home out of the county, bringing the question into play.

“Section 8.03 clearly establishes that a vacancy is created under three scenario death, resignation and removal of residence from Duval County during the term of office. This language is clear and unambiguous and therefore not subject to interpretation. All three scenarios by their very nature and legal definitions, are irrevocable,” Teal writes.

City Council President Sam Newby solicited an opinion by Thursday from General Counsel Jason Teal on whether Williams effectively vacated the office.

Newby rescinded the request for opinion, but that opinion is now on the record, and it suggests Williams is serving longer than the city’s lead lawyer would recommend.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been the Northeast Florida correspondent for Florida Politics since 2014. He writes for the New York Post and National Review also, with previous work in the American Conservative and Washington Times and a 15+ year run as a columnist in Folio Weekly. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Frankie M.

    June 2, 2022 at 2:46 pm

    “Clear & unambiguous” law didn’t stop the OGC from denying the school board permission to put a sales tax referendum on the ballot a few years ago. Must be Lenny’s lame duck status at work.

  • Vote for Mat Nemeth

    June 2, 2022 at 3:11 pm

    Lets vote for Mat Nemeth, he will stand up against those who break the law

  • Frankie M.

    June 2, 2022 at 3:53 pm

    Sounds like a case of the sposedas. Oh well no harm no foul. It’s already been a year…what’s another week?

Comments are closed.


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