Duval County

City Council to decide if Jacksonville sheriff gets more say over lawsuits filed against agency

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville’s sheriff is seeking more power in deciding whether the city should settle civil lawsuits against the department.

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Jacksonville City Council is set to decide Tuesday night if Sheriff T.K. Waters gets a seat at the table concerning lawsuits filed against his officers.

Sheriff Waters said he wants constitutional officers to have more power when it comes to settling lawsuits brought against their agency employees.

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If passed, one aspect of the bill would give Jacksonville constitutional officers like the sheriff the final say on settlement agreements.

Last Monday, Action News Jax told you when the settlement agreement was amended by the City Council Rules Committee. JSO’s organizational strategic executive explained to the Rules Committee that the sheriff didn’t know about it when the city’s Office of General Counsel signed off on a $200,000 settlement.

The settlement was finalized in July for the family of Jamee Johnson, who was shot and killed by a JSO officer in 2019.

Read: Council committee amends bill to give Itself final say on settlements involving Sheriff’s employees

Sheriff Waters told Action News Jax last month that the Johnson settlement was particularly controversial with the agency, as the state attorney and JSO had determined that the officer acted appropriately.

“You set a precedent when you settle a case that is in my strong, strong opinion should not have been settled in that situation,” Waters said.

The City Council meeting is set to start at 5 p.m.

Action News Jax will continue to follow this and bring you updates on the vote.

Read: Sheriff says he was not consulted on city’s settlement with family of man killed in officer shooting

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