JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Mike Williams served nearly seven years as the Duval County Sheriff, but it was the last 15 months of his term that put him in the crosshairs.
“If you take Sheriff Williams at his word, he violated the law, but didn’t do it knowingly,” says former police union attorney, Tad Delegal.
Action News Jax first reported two weeks ago that Williams retired after it was discovered he had moved to Nassau County in March 2021. It violated Jacksonville’s Charter, which states Williams had to keep his residence in the county, raising the question of how much he was actually working.
In an Action News Jax investigation, Ben Becker went through Williams badge work swipes and his calendar from March 2021 through last month
Becker discovered Williams swiped into work 50% or more of the time in any given month just twice — June 2021 and September 2021.
The month with the least amount of swipes?
July 2021, with only five.
“It’s disappointing,” says Delegal.
Becker also went through Williams’ calendar, which did show scheduled meetings at JSO that did not have corresponding swipes, various off-site appearances and dozens of virtual meetings, including with the city’s top lawyer, Jason Teal, on May 27 and May 31 when Williams’ future as sheriff was in question.
Becker called Williams to find out more about how much he truly worked and left a voice-mail message.
Becker also knocked on the door of Williams’ new Nassau County home but no one answered.
JSO sent Becker a statement:
“As it relates to employee entry into our secure building, and without speaking in-depth as to security features, there are several entry and exit points. The public entries, which are manned by security guards are accessible without the need to scan an ID card. These entry doors, along with others throughout the building also allow employees to utilize an ID Card for access as well as have a key option. Access to parking, also allows employees to utilize either their issued ID Cards or a drive gate opener — similar to that of a garage door opener.
“Outside of those listed, other opportunities could exist for entry into the building, such as multiple employees walking in together while only one employee scans to open a door. Please understand, that the scanning of an ID Card into any JSO facility does not quantify whether an employee arrived for work, nor are they utilized as a “Timecard” punch signifying arrival for employment and/or the beginning of their workday.
“Ultimately, I would be unable to speak as to the methods that Sheriff Williams used on a daily, or even a regular basis to gain access into the Police Memorial Building. Not only did he have the ability to use his issued ID Card, which in using provided the data that you have received, but he also had the ability to use issued keys as well as a gate opener — none of which are connected to the internal electronic entry system at the Police Memorial Building and would not provide data as to his comings and goings.
“I also would not be able to offer an expectation as to Sheriff Williams’, or the current Sheriff’s ability to work in the building or off-site — his expectations would, and should come from the community he serves.
“An employee’s time sheet record and/or leave balance and usage, if available, would come by way of a public records request via the online portal.”
Delegal says there’s little recourse to claw back any money if someone sued Williams during the time he was making approximately $180,000.
“Somebody in any salaried position who is expected to do a job doesn’t have to work a certain number of hours,” says Delegal. “That person can work ten hours or 100 hours.”
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