Jax Beach City Attorney placed on administrative leave while City Council moves forward with termination

Jacksonville Beach, FL. — The Jacksonville Beach City Attorney was placed on administrative leave and could soon be terminated following his arrest.

Chris Ambrosio was arrested Wednesday. He’s accused of molesting a girl under 6 and contributing the delinquency of a child.

The Jacksonville Beach City Council held an emergency meeting Thursday to discuss the arrest and the actions to take.

City council unanimously voted to put Ambrosio on administrative leave and draft a resolution to terminate him with cause.

Public trust was brought up several times during the discussion. Jacksonville Beach Mayor Christine Hoffman said the council’s actions are a step forward in making sure it maintains the public’s trust.

“Everyone in the community needs to trust that the behavior of the elected officials as well as the appointed officials in our city are above board and beyond reproach,” Hoffman said.

During his administrative leave, Ambrosio would still be paid.

His PTO and sick leave will cover through April 21.

The city said early estimates show it could cost the city around $21,809.

It’s cheaper than another option that would’ve cost the city around $89,920.30, if you factored in severance pay.

At Thursday’s meeting, the city council also approved to enter into an agreement or agreements with qualified attorneys or firms, to provide legal counsel to the City regarding various ongoing City matters for a period of up to six months.

“We are very fortunate we have a wonderful paralegal who has been working in our City Attorney’s office,” Mayor Hoffman said. “She’s familiar with every single item that’s come through the City Attorney’s Office.”

Mayor Hoffman said the City also already had attorneys helping in specialized areas.

“I feel very confident we have a lot of people that know what’s going on at Jacksonville Beach and they’re going to be able to help us cover those gaps,” Mayor Hoffman said.

As for Ambrosio’s license to practice law, Action News Jax contacted the Florida Bar and was told it opened a file on Ambrosio and it’s at the staff level.

No disciplinary action has been taken at the time and the Florida Bar said no further information is available.

According to the Florida Bar website, Ambrosio is a member in good standing and has not faced any discipline in the past 10 years.