ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

Sponsored By: Two Men and a Truck
cloudy-day
85°
Partly Cloudy
H 94° L 79°
  • cloudy-day
    85°
    Current Conditions
    Partly Cloudy. H 94° L 79°
  • cloudy-day
    90°
    Evening
    Partly Cloudy. H 94° L 79°
  • cloudy-day
    80°
    Morning
    Mostly Cloudy. H 92° L 76°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

Local
Councilman calls for city attorney to resign
Close

Councilman calls for city attorney to resign

Councilman calls for city attorney to resign
Photo Credit: COJ.NET
General Counsel Cindy Laquidara.

Councilman calls for city attorney to resign

Bold accusations against a top city leader aiming to get her out of the job.

Jacksonville City Councilman Matt Schellenberg has drafted proposed bill to request General Counsel Cindy Laquidara resign or the Mayor step in and separate her from her position.

The proposal is still in its early stages, but some councilmembers gathered for a posted meeting Tuesday morning to look at the proposal and gauge interest.  Even if a bill does make it before council and pass, it’s unlikely to actually create change. WOKV obtained the proposal, which claims Laquidara “failed to adequately represent or provide representation of the City Government as a whole and the City Council in particular.” Schellenberg also lists more than half a dozen complaints against Laquidara.

His first example of that draws back to one year ago, when the General Counsel’s Office sent the Jaguars a letter that they had defaulted on their lease. It led to several public apologies and a lot of backtracking by city leaders to repair the relationship. 

"We are concerned...that that letter to the Jaguars was unconscionable...I think she has a lot of work to do to rebuild the relationship with the city council," said Schellenberg.

Schellenberg then draws on other instances, describing her legal opinions as “demonstrably wrong”, “embarrassing” and “patently bad”.  He also blames a lack of confidence in Laquidara’s work as reason the Council is seeking outside legal advice with the Mayor’s pension reform proposal.  Schellenberg claims Laquidara acts more as a mouthpiece for the administration that a guardian for the government.

At Tuesday's meeting several members of city council joined Schellenberg including president Bill Bishop, Lori Boyer, Steven Joost, Richard Clark, Bill Gulliford, and John Crescimbeni to discuss the proposal and what the plans would be to proceed from this point.

Councilman Bishop wouldn't comment specifically on Schellenberg's specific complaints against Laquidara but says something ought to be done about the fact that the Mayor is the only person who can remove an appointee from office. Bishop says it makes city council feel like they are on the outside looking in.

"My hope is that the incumbent in the position gets a wake up call."

Even if the proposal passes, Laquidara can choose to not resign, in which case the decision would fall to Mayor Alvin Brown.  Brown issued a statement touting Laquidara’s past achievements and honors, however, saying she is one of the state’s top government attorneys.  He concludes with “I look forward to her continued service as the consolidated government’s chief attorney,” giving the definite impression there would be no action to remove her from office.

WOKV will continue to track the proposal and dig deeper in to these complaints to see exactly who is representing you.

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

The Latest News Headlines

  • The Houston Zoo had its hands full Wednesday as its newest edition, a two-week-old elephant calf named Joy, wriggled and scooted her way to temporary freedom.  A zoo visitor captured the moment on cellphone video as Joy lay on the ground, wiggling her way under the bottom cable of the enclosure. Once she was under, she stood up and ran down the line between the primary and secondary enclosure fences.  >> Read more trending news The video, shared with KPRC-TV in Houston, showed zoo patrons hurrying along the outer perimeter of the enclosure, phone cameras at the ready, as Joy enjoyed her jaunt. Zoo workers could be heard calling for handlers and asking the crowd to step back as Joy’s mother paced on the other side of the fence and voiced anxiety over the situation.  A zoo spokeswoman told KPRC that Joy never got past the secondary fence. She was not injured during her brief adventure.   Joy was born July 12 to Shanti, a 26-year-old Asian elephant, after a two-year pregnancy. The calf, who weighed 305 pounds at birth, began nursing within three hours and has since been doing well and meeting milestones, zoo officials reported on Facebook. 
  • The pastor of a Mandarin church has posted a sign outside calling Allah a 'fake God.' Several people reached out to Action News Jax, calling the sign Islamophobic. The sign says: 'Allah fake God, Jesus Christ the real God.' Pastor Gene Youngblood would not come out of First Conservative Baptist Church's locked doors when Action News Jax showed up to ask why he felt this was an important message to display. JFRD: Lightning may have caused business fire in downtown Jacksonville 'I do appreciate your contact. But the sign stands for itself, speaks for itself, to be proven by the Quran,' said Youngblood. 'Ignorance really cultivates fear,' said Alex Sivar, chairman of interfaith organization Atlantic Institute Jacksonville. 'This is a monotheistic religion and the three major ones are, of course, Islam, Judaism and Christianity. And all three of them are worshipping the same god.' Sivar, who is Muslim, said he'd like to invite Youngblood and his family to his home. 'Have a dinner, break bread with me, and ask me all the questions that he has that he doesn't have an answer,' said Sivar. In 2015, Youngblood took a sign saying 'Homosexuals must repent or go to hell' down after a petition. In 2012, he posted a sign saying, 'Pray for our president to be replaced.
  • A Texas teenager is facing felony charges after she falsely claimed she was kidnapped and raped by three African-American men in March, according to reports. >> Read more trending news Breana Harmon, 19, ran into a church wearing only a shirt, bra and underwear and told witnesses she had been abducted, taken to the woods behind the church and raped by two of the men as the third held her down, the Dallas Morning News reported. An investigation found that the cuts on her jeans did not match the cuts on her legs, authorities said. A nurse found no evidence of sexual assault after examining Harmon. Later in March, she admitted to police that she had made up the entire ordeal. Harmon told authorities that “things from her past started going through her head” and she “began cutting herself and her jeans,” the Herald Democrat reported. She then confessed that she had lied about the incident because she didn’t want her mother to know she was cutting herself. Harmon was initially arrested and charged with a misdemeanor. She was indicted Wednesday on charges including two third-degree felony counts of tampering with physical evidence and a felony count of tampering with a government record, among other charges. If convicted, she faces up to 10 years in prison. “The more we have looked at what happened in this case, and considered the harm it caused, and certainly could have caused, we believe what she did fits these higher charges,” Grayson County District Attorney Joe Brown said in a statement. “What she did was very serious, and we believe it was felony conduct.”  The Herald Democrat reported that the Denison Police Department, which investigated the case, is also seeking $8,000 in restitution.
  • A 39-year-old Utah woman was killed by her husband aboard a Princess Cruise ship Tuesday night because, he told authorities, she wouldn’t stop laughing at him, according to the FBI. >> Read more trending news An FBI spokeswoman said Thursday that authorities arrested a man in the case after the ship was diverted to Juneau, Alaska. He was identified by The Associated Press as Kenneth Manzanares. Authorities said the woman, who was identified only as K.M., was killed during a loud domestic dispute on the Emerald Princess around 9 p.m. Tuesday, while the ship was traveling the waters off Alaska, The Associated Press reported. “Court documents say a man entered the cabin and saw the woman on the floor covered in blood,” according to the news wire. “Records say Manzanares grabbed his wife’s body and dragged her to the balcony before the witness stopped him.” A passenger on the ship told KTVA that he heard “two or three ladies or girls, definitely women, screaming” on the night of the incident.  He told the news station that his wife looked over their room balcony and saw a man “bruised, cut and covered in blood.” The ship left on Sunday from Seattle, carrying 3,400 passengers on a week-long trip.  The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

The Latest News Videos