Flagler County administrator resigns after public outcry

Resignation effective beginning Friday

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – The Flagler County administrator will be out of a job by the end of the week after commissioners voted Wednesday in favor of his resignation.

The 3-2 vote happened around 6:30 p.m., hours after county officials drew up an amendment to Craig Coffey's employment agreement, making it possible for him to resign effective Friday.

Coffey would walk away with a reported 20 weeks worth of pay and a nondisparaging clause.

Coffey said in a phone conference Wednesday morning the calls for his resignation were about politics, but some county leaders said it's because of his handling of the Sheriff's Operations Center, which is now known as the "sick building."

"He assured me that there's no problem in the building and that all proper steps were taken. That was different Friday. And after Friday, I really don't feel like there should be a severance," said Joseph Mullins, County Commissioner District 4. "There's just no trust there for Coffey."

News 6 obtained exclusive video that showed scientists testing the Sheriff's Operations Center last week, using thermal energy that they said uncovered water intrusion that could cause toxic mold. They also said they found old insulation and bat feces.

These findings have made dozens of employees sick, according to Sheriff Rick Staly, and staff were forced to relocate last June. Staly said Coffey dropped the ball trying to solve the problem.

"Now, because your job's on the line, now you're willing to do what you should have done 14 months ago? I'm done," Staly said.

Two other top county staff members have also said they're leaving. Deputy Administrator Sally Sherman is resigning and Community Services Director Joseph Mayer is retiring.

However, not all board members believed Coffey should step down. Commissioner Charles Erickson said Coffey could improve his performance and be better with communication, but he worked tirelessly to keep residents safe during the hurricanes.

"He was here 24 hours a day chugging for the best benefit of these people and that's not it. He's also a gentleman, he doesn't undermine the operations that's going on and he takes a lot of shots in the gut that he doesn't deserve," Erickson said.

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