Duval County

Council calls for second highest ranked city official to step down

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — City Councilman Matt Carlucci said Chief Administrative Officer, Brian Hughes, should step down.

“I don’t think our city has been moving forward so great.” Carlucci said in a public letter. “I think we’ve been moving backwards.”

Carlucci said Hughes is not collaborative and cannot be relied upon to build honest relationships.

“His presence in the mayor’s office, in my opinion, based on my experience, has been an impediment to our city moving forward.” Carlucci’s letter reads.

Carlucci’s letter:

"To those who might care:
"It is my opinion that it is time for the Mayors Chief of Staff, Brian Hughes, who has become a troublesome liability to the mayors office to resign. His presence in city hall, in my opinion, based on my experience, has been an impediment to our city moving forward and this has lead to the worst governmental environment and chemistry that I have ever witnessed or experienced in my public service career.
"Our city cannot move forward because so many of our community leaders and citizens have become distrustful and tiresome of our City Government. A mayor cannot be an effective leader with a chief of staff staff who is not collaborative and cannot be relied upon to build honest and forthright relationships.
"There is a cloud of bad government over Jacksonville at this historic moment and time. This is my opinion as a citizen and Council member of my beloved hometown, and believe and know it not only reflects my views, but the views of so many who want the best for Jacksonville. Our citizens deserve better. We deserve Excellence.
"My opinion for what it may be worth.
"Matt Carlucci
"City councilman at large group 4″

Action News Jax sat down with Carlucci and he explained that this has been a long time coming. He explained that what “broke the camel’s back” was the way Hughes handled important topics like JEA and the landing demolition.

“We’ve seen a lot of buildings come down. You ask what’s going in their place and nobody tells you.” Carlucci said. “Nobody knows. Maybe there is something out there, but if there is — where’s the transparency?”

We reached out to Mayor Lenny Curry’s office for his reaction.

He released this statement, but declined to do an on-camera interview.

“Brian Hughes serves the City of Jacksonville faithfully and dutifully. I selected him as Chief of Staff in January of 2018 because of his valued and wide-ranging experience, as well as his commitment to the people of Jacksonville. When I promoted him to Chief Administrative Officer in June 2019, it was because of progress and advancement in our city, attributed to his effective leadership and collaborative relationships. Jacksonville is Brian’s home and he has a vested and passionate interest in making this city the best it can be for all who live here.” – Mayor Lenny Curry

A city spokesperson said Hughes will not be responding to Carlucci’s call for resignation.

“I think Mr. Hughes owes it to the mayor to make sure he’s the right man for that job for his friend,” Carlucci said.

Carlucci said this is in no way personal and he respects the mayor’s response.

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