Does the Volusia County Charter permit public officials to be members on the County Personnel Board?

Per the Florida State Constitution, are commissioners on the Volusia County Growth Management Commission, public officials?

Is Mr. Dwight Lewis' appointment as a commissioner on the Growth Management Commission and the County Personnel Board, a violation of the Volusia County Charter?

Have Volusia County employees been negatively affected by Mr. Lewis' appointment to the County Personnel Board?

July 2, 2012
"As a columnist, I realize that whatever amount of corruption I expose, half my readers will block it out,
although they may get a frisson of joy in the process."
- Margaret Carlson

UPDATE - JULY 2, 2012

VolusiaExposed.Com's July 2, 2012 article - Dwight Lewis resigns.


According to the below Volusia County records, Mr. Dwight Lewis is both a member of the Volusia County Personnel Board and a Volusia County Growth Management Commissioner.

Volusia County Growth Management meeting minutes for January 25, 2012 - Dwight Lewis is documented as a commissioner on the VCGM Commission.

While, Article II of the Florida Constitution forbids a person to hold more than one "public office", the County Personnel Board would NOT meet the definition of a "public office", due mainly to the fact that the personnel board is solely an advisory board.

SECTION 5. Public officers.— (a) No person holding any office of emolument under any foreign government, or civil office of emolument under the United States or any other state, shall hold any office of honor or of emolument under the government of this state. No person shall hold at the same time more than one office under the government of the state and the counties and municipalities therein, except that a notary public or military officer may hold another office, and any officer may be a member of a constitution revision commission, taxation and budget reform commission, constitutional convention, or statutory body having only advisory powers.

Documents associated with
County Personnel Board

Florida Attorney General Opinion 2008-61

Section 86-40(f)(2) of County Merit Rules

Recent VCGM Commission roster.


Additional VolusiaExposed articles associated with
Personnel Board actions

Captain Gardner's April 12-13, 2012 County Personnel Board

Deputy Flesch's May 8, 2012 Personnel Board hearing

Therefore, Mr. Dwight Lewis' assignment to both the Personnel Board and as a Commissioner on the Growth Management Commission, would NOT create a violation of the Florida Constitution.

However, as per Volusia County Merit Rules, in the particular, Section 86-40(f)(2) of County Merit Rules, a person can not serve as a Personnel Board member, if they also hold public office or employment.
86-40(f)(2) Qualifications of members. Each member of the personnel board shall be a qualified elector of the county, shall be known to be in sympathy with merit principles and a merit system of personnel administration, shall neither hold nor be a candidate for any public office or employment, and shall not be a member of any local, state or national committee of a political party or an officer in any partisan political club or organization.

Since, the Volusia County Merit Rules are incorporated within the Volusia County Charter, a violation of the Merit Rules would be a violation of the Charter.

Click here - Complete copy - Volusia County Merit Rules

So, is a commissioner on the Volusia County Growth Management Commission a "public office"?
Well according to the below application, it clearly indicates that a commissioner within the Growth Management Commission, is a "county office", also, requiring the filing of mandated financial disclosures for all "public office" holders.

Volusia County application for certain boards and commissions

Research by VolusiaExposed.Com also uncovered the below Attorney General's opinion (2008-61), which clearly indicates that a commissioner on the Volusia County Growth Management Commission is a "public office".

Florida Attorney General Opinion 2008-61 - regarding the public office of a Volusia County Growth Management Commissioner

Apparently, Mr. Lewis is somewhat aware of his responsibilities to follow both the Florida State Constitution and County Merit Rules. In 2010, when Mr. Lewis decided to run for the Volusia County Council, he submitted the below resignation letter resigning his positions on both the personnel board and Growth Management Commission.

We just don't understand how Mr. Lewis, nor the county, can not appreciate that his current assignment as a Growth Management Commissioner would restrict his assignment to the County Personnel Board.

Dwight Lewis 2010 resignation letter.

Apparently, sometime after his 2010 run for County Council, he was re-appointed to both the Personnel Board and to the Growth Management Commission. Once again, the County of Volusia failed to recognize the conflict of interest in his assignments to the Personnel Board and the Growth Management Commission.



Yes, apparently so, at the very least, during both the Captain Gardner's and Deputy Scott Flesch's hearings, that we are aware of.

At the Gardner board hearing, the board recommended sustaining only one charged violation against him. In a two to three vote, Mr. Lewis supporting the violation, the personnel board recommended that the charged violation of County Merit Rule 86-453(13) be sustained against Captain Gardner.

86-453(13) Any conduct, on or off duty, that reflects unfavorably on the county as an employer.

Again, this was the ONLY sustained violation by the County Personnel Board.

Therefore, absent Mr. Lewis' vote on that particular charge, the County Personnel Board would have sustained none of the county's charges against Captain Gardner. Obviously, if the Personnel Board would not have sustained any of the county's charges, this fact would have influenced the personnel board's disciplinary recommendations.

Obviously, it is safe to conclude, that the county's final actions of re-instatement, with a demotion to correctional officer, would have also been influenced, if the personnel board would have not sustained any of the charges against Captain Gardner.

During the Deputy Scott Flesch hearing, Mr. Lewis' carried the deciding vote (3-2), in support of Sheriff Johnson's decision to terminate Deputy Flesch.

VolusiaExposed.Com believes that not only did Mr. Lewis' votes present a negative influence on the Personnel Board's decisions, but his comments during the board hearings, also negatively influenced these employees' right to fair due process.

To add insult, to injury, this is NOT the first time, the County of Volusia has had an ineligible member on it's Personnel Board.

1999 Personnel Board incident - Orlando Sentinel article

We ask .... What are they (County) going to do now, that VolusiaExposed.Com has made them aware of their violations?

Stay tuned.....more to follow........

Watch and listen, as Dwight Lewis is the deciding vote (3-2), in the sustaining of the only charge against Captain Gardner.

Watch and listen, as Dwight Lewis is the deciding vote (3-2), to up hold Sheriff Johnson's termination of Deputy Scott Flesch.

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