Jacksonville sheriff says he’s not resigning over controversial move to Nassau County

JACKSONVILLE — Action News Jax spoke with Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams Monday following news that he is no longer a resident of Duval County—and hasn’t been for some time.

RELATED: Jacksonville sheriff says he’s moved to Nassau County, claims state law allows him to do so

The stunning revelation followed a report Friday by the online publication The Tributary. According to property records, Williams sold his Jacksonville home a year ago and listed a new address in Fernandina Beach.

According to Jacksonville’s city charter, if an acting sheriff moves out of the county while still in office, they’re to be removed. The charter, reads, “If the sheriff should die, resign, or remove his residence from Duval County during his term of office, or be removed from office, the office of sheriff shall become vacant.”

But Williams claims a state law removed the residency requirement back in 2010 and says legal experts have advised that state law supersedes the city charter.

On Monday, we spoke with Williams about the controversial move at the city’s Memorial Day ceremony downtown. He said he did not consult with Mayor Lenny Curry or any other city officials before his move, just his own legal advisors.

When asked what he would say to those who are critical of his decision to move to Nassau County while still holding such a high-ranking public office in Jacksonville, Williams said, I reject the idea. I’ve been working for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office for 30 years. I spent the majority of that time working with the community. I’m going to continue to do that.”

Williams also said he does not see any scenario where he would resign.

Former top City of Jacksonville lawyer Jason Gabriel believes the residency requirement applies and the office of sheriff has been vacated, according to TU reporter Nate Monroe.

Action News Jax reporter Jake Stofan will have more on this story on CBS47/FOX30 at 5.

Samantha Mathers

Samantha Mathers, Action News Jax

Samantha Mathers is a digital reporter and content creator for Action News Jax.