Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Deliz Resigns in Wake of His 'Morons' E-Mail Statement

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Deliz Resigns in Wake of His 'Morons' E-Mail Statement

Article excerpt


YULEE -- Nassau County Director of Engineering Services Jose Deliz said Wednesday he was spurred to resign last week after a newspaper published an excerpt from an e-mail where he told a contractor that County Road 121 needed to be completed to a level where "morons" won't find anything to criticize.

Deliz, a three-year county employee, said the comment was taken out of context, irreparably damaging his ability to do his job.

The comment came in a May 15 e-mail from Deliz to a representative from Douglas Asphalt, the county's paving contractor on the troubled County Road 121 project.

Residents along the road have complained loudly in recent weeks about "shoddy" work done on the $7.5 million repaving of County Road 121 in west Nassau County. At the time of the e-mail, some residents were complaining the newly paved road was too wavy. Deliz said in the e-mail he was looking for solutions.

Deliz said he wasn't describing residents when he used the word.

"I think it was taken out of context," Deliz said. "I did not mean to imply the citizens I serve are morons. I used a poor choice of words."

Deliz, who earned $87,561, resigned June 16.

Since the e-mail, reports that the newly paved road was "wavy" to drive on were compounded by reports that asphalt was crumbling from the sides. Area residents have met twice in Bryceville to discuss their complaints. Douglas Asphalt has since offered to fix parts where the asphalt is wavy and slipping off its base.

But Deliz said to preserve citizen trust in county government, he needs to step aside.

"I apologize for any misunderstanding," he said. "I certainly did not mean to disrespect the people I've tried so hard to serve. Ever since I came to Nassau County, my priority has been to provide the best services to improve the community that I live in. It's my opinion that the citizens would be better served if I resign."

Deliz said he gave a two-week notice, but due to requests from co-workers, he'll stay on as long as it takes county management to hire his successor.

"[Deliz] basically just said that there were immense pressures on his department that caused his department to lose sight of his objective," County Administrator Mike Mahaney said. …

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