Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Mayor in Mis-Firing Effort to Dismiss Police Chief Ends in Tie Vote

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Mayor in Mis-Firing Effort to Dismiss Police Chief Ends in Tie Vote

Article excerpt

NEPTUNE BEACH -- The attorney for Police Chief Bill Brandt has

notified the city that his client might sue if a five-day

suspension is not lifted.

Brandt survived a move by Mayor George Vaughn Jr. to have him

fired Thursday, but the chief was suspended for five days

without pay for using a derogatory term in referring to the

mayor.

Vaughn called an emergency meeting of the council on Thursday

morning to ask the panel to recommend firing Brandt. Vaughn said

the police chief had publicly insulted him at a city reception

Wednesday, and that Brandt has not been a "team player."

But Vaughn's request failed when the council deadlocked 2-2 on

the issue.

Wednesday night, Linn suspended Brandt for five days because

the chief refused to shake hands with the mayor at a reception

and called the mayor a derogatory name.

The move to oust Brandt, who has been chief for seven years,

drew criticism from some in the city along with the threat of a

lawsuit.

Attorney Joe Glickstein Jr. sent the city a letter Thursday

saying Brandt might sue if the suspension is not rescinded.

Brandt, 54, was not at Thursday's session.

Jacksonville City Councilman Dick Brown, who is a Neptune Beach

resident, said the move taints the city.

"I think they [council] are moving totally in the wrong

direction," Brown said. "It just makes it appear that he

[Vaughn] ran for office to get revenge. It's amazing. I've never

seen anything quite like it."

Vaughn and Brandt have clashed since early last year. Vaughn,

who was not mayor at the time, complained to the council about

how the police handled a complaint he had with a neighbor. He

also said he had trouble getting public records from the

department.

"He's been a one-issue candidate," Brandt said Wednesday. "He

hates the police department."

Vaughn has said the police chief has not spoken to him since he

was elected mayor in October.

Brandt, 54, said Wednesday he intends to remain on the job.

"I don't have any intention of resigning," he said. "These

people have been slandering me, telling lies about me for the

last week. …

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