Surprisingly, the Santa Rosa County Board of County Commissioners dismissed its appointed board attorney, Roy Andrews, 3-2.
District 1 Commissioner Sam Parker introduced the additional agenda item at the end of Thursday’s session, saying he had lost confidence in Andrews’ legal leadership.
“I don’t want to broadcast a laundry list of topics, but honestly I’ve lost confidence in our current agency this year,” said Parker.
Parker, District 2 Commissioner Bob Cole, and District 5 Commissioner Colten Wright said they were disappointed with Andrews’ handling of the waste pro legal issue.
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At Andrews’ orders, the county held a special court-style hearing on Nov. 24th on whether or not to overturn a dismissed permit complaint for Adam’s Sanitation, in which the county breached a contract with Waste Pro.
The commissioners unanimously voted to give Adams permission. However, on Thursday morning Wright said he felt he was “cornered” with the meeting and “did not fully understand” the court-like process, and Andrews did not properly guide the commissioners in the decision they were making.
“I certainly felt that there was a lack of trust in what I was being told. When I ask a question, I want you to put your fist down and say, “That’s it,” Wright said. “When I look to a lawyer and pay a lawyer out of pocket, I want some conviction when I ask a question. I want you to look at me and, in your professional opinion, definitely give me one exact answer. And I can’t say I felt the same way. “
Cole said he wanted more of a “bulldog” approach from his board attorney.
“The previous quasi-judicial role that we were in may have had more aggressiveness in my opinion, as we faced (her) attorney out here and neither of us are attorneys,” said Cole. “Basically, I see it as if this board broke a contract we had with Waste Pro, and I felt at the time that you should have said, ‘You have a contract, he stands up and my advice is due that board is to uphold this contract. ‘”
However, Cole, along with District 4 commissioner Dave Piech, did not vote to dismiss Andrews. Wright and Commissioner James Calkins cast the second and third votes to fire Andrews.
Piech said he would have liked more information once he decided what to do as Parker introduced the resolution at the last minute.
“That hits me cold. And I don’t make quick decisions, ”said Piech.
Andrews makes $ 178,000 a year and his resignation is immediate. The county will work with Tallahassee-based law firms Nabors, Giblin and Nickerson to seek new legal representation.
Under the terms of its contract, Andrews County is required to pay $ 73,285 in compensation, or 150 days since the agents terminated the contract.
The next meeting of the commission will take place on January 7th.
Annie Blanks can be reached at [email protected] or 850-435-8632.