The Banana Republic Of Volusia County

The Manipulation Of County Government & Elections

February 1, 2016
"This Is Not America - Shalalalala - A little piece of you, The little piece in me, Will die - For this is not America" - David Bowie

From The Despot's Bag Of Dirty Tricks
Manipulating The Election Laws

The Volusia County Council recently voted to amend the county's employee merit rules - in order to allow county employees to run for certain political offices within county government.

VolusiaExposed attended and video recorded the January 21, 2016 meeting of the council (see attached video link).

County employees will now be able to run for the elected office of certain "directorships" of certain county divisions (elections, public safety (sheriff), and property appraiser), without having to first resign from county employment.

Volusia County Council Vote
January 21, 2016 DeLand, Florida
Item # 3 - Resign To Run Amendment To Merit Rules
Click Pause To Stop Video Play

Our Position On The Resign To Run Amendment

VolusiaExposed.Com neither supports or opposes the amendment to Volusia County Merit Rules.

We do note that for over forty (40) years - it has been mandated that county employees must resign prior to running for any elected office. This mandate appears to have served the public interest well for over four (4) decades - and we (VolusiaExposed) don't see a legitimate reason for amending that mandate.

Our concerns center around the true rationale and the timing of the amendment. Even some of the council members that supported the amendment - stated that the public may question the true intent of the amendment.

It's an open secret that Lisa Lewis - spouse of former County Councilman, Dwight Lewis, and second in command of the Volusia Elections Department, will be running for Supervisor of Election - due to the pending retirement of the current election supervisor. Therefore in certain political corners, this amendment is referred to as the Lisa Lewis Relief Act. (Pay Attention - The Lewis connection will repeat itself later in this article)

From our prespective - political ethics dictate that the amendment shouldn't have been proposed, nor voted on, after the start of an election cycle. The 2016 election cycle has been in full swing for sometime now - and if you doubt this, or wish to argue that the 2016 election cycle has not yet started - then you must not have a television set, or a newspaper subscription.

Apparently, the current County Council has forgotten how much of a national laughing stock Volusia County became during the 2000 Presidential election. There is an old adage - that those who forget their history - are damned to repeat that history. Hang on tight Volusia County - we (VolusiaExposed) can already hear the laughter starting.

Lastly, VolusiaExposed suspects that the Council's vote on the Resign to Run amendment was NOT conducted within the mandates of County Merit Rules. (MORE ON THIS - LATER IN THIS ARTICLE)

Let's Go Biblical !

Matthew 26:34
The Council Disavowed Their Public Trust
Three Times Before The Political Rooster Crowed

We submit the opinion - that if we were to interview any member of the Volusia County Council - inquiring whether any of them would violate the public's trust - all of them would vehemently deny that they would ever disavow their responsibilities or public trust.

VolusiaExposed.Com suggests that during the January 21, 2016 meeting of the Volusia County Council, that the Council, as a political body, disavowed the public trust a minimum of three times.

On the eve of his crucifixion, Jesus Christ advised his Apostle Peter, that he (Peter) would deny him (Christ) three times before the rooster crowed (Matthew 26:34).

VolusiaExposed submits the opinion - that on January 21, 2016 - the County Council thrice denied their ethical responsibilities to the public - prior to the fall of County Chair, Jason Davis' gravel.



The First Denial Of The Public Trust
While Protecting Their Own Offices - The Council Manipulates Pending Elections

VolusiaExposed invites you to review the video of the January 21, 2016 County Council meeting - whereas several members of the council expressed the opinion that there are several qualified county employees that could handle the job responsibilities of the sheriff, the county election supervisor, or the county property appraiser.

Some on the Council went on to argue that these un-named qualified employee candidates should not be hamstrung in their run for these county offices, by first having to resign from county employment.

HOWEVER it was of GREAT INTEREST to us here at VolusiaExposed.Com, that these very same council members did not seem to support that their very own offices (County Council) should be similiarly available to county employees who inspire to seek political office. Apparently - it's the opinion of at least five (5) of our current County Council - that while there are qualified candidates within the employee ranks for the offices of sheriff, elections supervisor and property appraiser - no county employees are similarly qualified to run for county council - at least without first having to resign their county employment.

Congratulations to Councilman Doug Daniels - while he opposed the Merit Rule amendment - he suggested that should there be an amendment - it should allow all county employees to run in any political race.

The Second Denial Of The Public Trust
The Dispensable County Personnel Board

According to Volusia County Merit Rule 86-36 - "The county manager, in conjunction with the personnel director, and in consultation with the personnel board, shall be responsible for maintenance and preparation of amendments to this article as needed". Therefore - in our opinion, as well as others - prior to the County Council voting on January 21, 2016, to modify the Merit Rules, so county employees can run for certain political offices while maintaining their county employment - county administrative staff (county manager & personnel director) were mandated to have consulted the county personnel board regarding the proposed change to County Merit Rules.

Merit Rules - Sec. 86-36. Amendments to article.
The county manager, in conjunction with the personnel director, and in consultation with the personnel board,
shall be responsible for maintenance and preparation of amendments to this article as needed.
A two-thirds vote of the full county council shall be required to amend this article.

Immediately after the January 21, 2016 vote - VolusiaExposed spoke with County Personnel Director, Tom Motes - asking him whether he had consulted the County Personnel Board, prior to the county submitting the proposed resign to run amendment to the County Council. Mr. Motes responded that he had not consulted with the personnel board.

VolusiaExposed also submitted a public record request (see above email - scroll box)) for the minutes of any personnel board meeting, whereas the county had consulted the board regarding the proposed change to County Merit Rules. As of the posting of this article - our public record request continues to go unanswered ! VolusiaExposed now assumes that no such records exist - since it would appear that county officials never consulted with the County Personnel Board. Regardless - the county is obligated to address our public record request - even if the answer is - "no such record exist".

County Attorney Dan Eckert did provide us with an email response (see above scroll box), whereas Eckert stated "The role which the county code assigns to the personnel board in amendment of the merit system is an important one, but not an indispensable one under the charter."

VolusiaExposed strongly disagrees with Mr. Eckert's opinion that it was NOT necessary to consult with the County Personnel Board prior to amending the County Merit Rules, and we invite you to review what exactly the County Merit Rules and Charter memorializes on this topic. (see information box -->)

"Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth." - Oscar Wilde
County Charter & Merit Rules

County Merit Rules
Merit Rules - Sec. 86-36. Amendments to article.
The county manager, in conjunction with the personnel director, and in consultation with the personnel board, shall be responsible for maintenance and preparation of amendments to this article as needed. A two-thirds vote of the full county council shall be required to amend this article.

County Charter
County Charter - Section 1009.
Amendment to Rules and Regulations.

A two-thirds (2/3) vote of the full council shall be required to amend the rules and regulations of the merit system. (Ch. 70. 966, Laws of Florida (Sp. Acts), Art. X, ' 1009)

Let The Lawsuits Begin !
Volusia's Past Violations of Merit Rules
Stupid Is As Stupid Does

VolusiaExposed is not at all surprised that County Attorney, Dan Eckert does not fully appreciate the importance of remaining in compliance with County Merit Rules.

Volusia County has a rather long history of violating their own Charter and Merit Rules.

Last year (2015), Circuit Judge Raul Zambrano ruled that former County Councilman Dwight Lewis' assignment on both the County Personnel Board & the County's Gowth Management Commission was a violation of County Merit Rule 86-40. (see Zambrano's decision -->)

And yes - as promised earlier in this article - you have just read the additional concern involving the Lewis family and County Merit Rules.

Based on the Dwight Lewis violation to the County Personnel Board - several personnel boards may have to be re-heard.

Two personnel boards that come to immediate mind are as follows:

Deputy Scott Flesch

Captain Rich Gardner

The Gardner case is of particular interest - in that the Florida Bar recently found probable cause in support of misconduct against the assistant county attorney connected to the Gardner termination.

VX Was First To Point Out The Lewis Conflict

In response to our 2012 concerns regarding Dwight Lewis' assignment to both the County Growth Management Commission & the County Personnel Board - in July 2012 - VolusiaExposed.Com posted the following two articles:

Article #1

Article #2

While County Attorney, Dan Eckert initially denied the existence of a Charter / Merit Rule violation given Mr. Lewis' assignment to two government advisory boards - he eventually came around to our way of thinking - and Mr. Lewis resigned from the Growth Management Commission.

Scroll Down To View Entire Document
Judge Raul A. Zambrano's Ruling
Deputy Scott Flesch Appeal

The Third Denial Of The Public Trust
Public Participation Denied

We (VolusiaExposed.Com) invite our readers to review the attached video from the January 21, 2016 County County meeting regarding item 7 of the agenda.

Item 7 dealt with the homelessness issue - with particular attention given to the Beach Street homeless encampment located on the county's administrative building site of 250 N. Beach Street in Daytona Beach.

VolusiaExposed, as well as several others, voiced a desire to address (public participation) the council regarding item #7. However, as you can hear (listen to begining of Part 1 video ->) County Chair, Jason Davis stated that the council will not be allowing public participation on Item # 7 - because the council will NOT be taking a vote on the issue / item.

Prior to the start of the council meeting - county administrative staff would not even accept written requests for public participation on Item 7 - due to the fact that the council's advertised agenda clearly indicated that no public participation would be allowed (see below screen shot of the advertised agenda).

Eventually, and after over an hour and half discussion - the council DID take a vote on Item #7 - and without allowing public participation. (listen to last minute of Part 2 of the attached videos ->)

In fairness to the County Council - VolusiaExposed.Com attempted to reach out to the council members via an email requesting any clarification or comments that they could provide. As of the posting of this article - our email goes unanswered.

Volusia County Council Vote
January 21, 2016 DeLand, Florida
Item # 7 - Homelessness Issue
Click Pause To Stop Video Play



Matthew 26:15
Thirty Pieces Of Silver

Judas Iscariot, a trusted disciple of Christ, sold his master out, for a mere thirty pieces of silver.

What compensation the members of the County Council received for selling out their master (the public) is currently unknown to us.

However, with the manipulation of pending elections, and the denial of a public participation in their government - VolusiaExposed does have an estimate of what the treacherous behavior of the Council cost the citizens of Volusia County. It transformed us from an North American democracy to a Central American Banana Republic.

Corruption In Volusia County
Some Things Just Never Change !

According to a local Volusia County heritage website - Volusia County in the 1920's and 1930's was the second most corrupt area in the nation. Interestingly - Cook County, IL. (Chicago) came in as the most corrupt area in the nation.

Well, given the Laquan McDonald shooting scandal - not much has changed in Chicago over the last 100 years. What's your opinion about Volusia County - would it still qualify as one of the most corrupt areas in the nation?

If your answer is yes - Volusia County would still qualify as one of the most corrupt areas in the nation - then how much trust should you be assigning to your local government officials?

"Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth". ~ Oscar Wilde

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We look forward to your comments on this situation.
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