Cautiously contrite Kim Weeks offers $ 20,000 settlement, but commissioners don’t buy the deed or the trifle


Those who have been the target of his haughty anger, accusations, distortions, denigration, disregard for the law and reckless disregard for the truth, such as his perennial target, County Prosecutor Al Hadeed and several former county commissioners, might wonder where these Kimberle Weeks have been hiding all these years: the Kimberle Weeks who delivered a letter to county and state officials on Sunday evening with regret, a qualified apology, a little contrition and other forms of mea culpa which, until Sunday, had seemed foreign to him out of courtesy. “If I could turn back time, I sincerely would,” Weeks wrote.

The letter lacked a real apology for her own actions or concessions that she had been wrong to bring legal actions that had defamed people like Hadeed and former Commissioner Charlie Ericksen, diverted countless hours of work and attention from county officials and caused immense anxiety to those she had targeted. One feature was not missing from her letter: it is still Weeks – what an “emotional torment for me to go through this ordeal” it was, how financially ruinous it was for her, how another court judgment against it “can destroy its credit and ability to borrow in an emergency as we age and approach retirement age.”

Yet Weeks, who remains on felony probation in a separate case, still does not view the complaints she filed with the Florida Ethics Commission as anything less than “honorable.” “In filing the complaints,” she wrote, “I didn’t mean any harm or malice towards Mr. Hadeed or Mr. Ericksen when filing the complaints, I was just trying to do an honorable job as an elected official. public, and I apologize for any stress and emotional effects you have suffered as a result of these documents.

As County Commission Chairman Donald O’Brien said this morning, “This letter is truly an insult to my intelligence, to the intelligence of Mr. Erickson and to that of many others.

“I would feel a little sweeter if she apologized, but she didn’t,” Commissioner Greg Hansen said.

But Weeks, the former election supervisor, appears to be at her wit’s end financially and face the “devastating” judgment (she says) of owing the county $ 129,600 plus 6.83% interest, which may total attorney fees. due to her frivolous and bogus charges, and an April 8 court date where she could face the possibility of stiffer penalties if she continued to leave the bill unpaid – she served a one-month sentence jail last summer on a separate set of felony convictions against her criminal contempt of the law) – she chose this eleventh hour to come and plead.

Unable to pay anywhere near the money she owes, she begs the county and state to accept her settlement offer: $ 20,000, which she said she would borrow immediately after the OK. She also asked for a 10-day extension of the April 8 hearing in Leon County Circuit Court, where the attorney general’s case against her for money owed is being held. Weeks prepared the letter after speaking with Hadeed by phone on Saturday – in itself an extraordinary gesture from Weeks, considering the extent to which she had vilified him in public and in private over the years.

County commissioners weren’t impressed this morning.

“I have a problem with this,” said Hansen, “because no matter what she said here, these three people were very vindictive. They were very hurtful for this community. And they did it on purpose and they did it with malice and foresight and they hurt that, they hurt our county, in a significant way. Weeks had operated in concert with Dennis McDonald, the perennial candidate for local office and critic for city and county government, and Mark Richter Jr., the son of a former commission candidate. McDonald and Richter both do facing similar judgments in lawsuits, for equally large sums of money owed to the county. The difference is that Leon County Circuit Court has already rendered judgments against McDonald and Richter. It hasn’t yet. done against Weeks, but coming to an agreement with Weeks could set a precedent that the other two could then pursue on their own.

In Weeks’ case, the attorney general is expected to agree to the settlement. But Hadeed said the GA’s office would “seriously consider any decision” made by the commission.

“It’s not so much the money here that I see it as a problem. We kind of give her the chance to get out of jail, figuratively speaking, and woo her with that, ”Commissioner Dave Sullivan said. “And she’s had a number of times over the past five years to try to pull herself out of that and got a much easier exit. She fought all along with lawyers and in every way she could. Just because she says they don’t have any money, have we checked that out? I mean, are we sure? Sullivan views Weeks’ poverty plea as dubious, along with his mea culpas. “So it would be very difficult for me to do anything. I don’t see her admitting her guilt here either. And what she said, ”he continued,“ it basically says I’m sorry that happened. Basically she literally says, and I wish this was over now. And I understand her position now, but she had years to take that position, if she had felt sorry for what had happened. So at the moment I know it’s tough, but I can’t see any way from the story I have with this that’s pretty close to the story since it started. I don’t see any way to accept this.

O’Brien agreed with Sullivan’s interpretation of the letter, recalling Weeks’ “malice” and “forethought” over the years, resulting in an offer which “in no way, in my opinion, can compensate the county for the time of legal staff. “

“Having said that,” said O’Brien, “you know I fall back on my Christian teaching of mercy as well and I’m totally in conflict over what to do about it and, you know, aggravated at it. subject and I don’t know what else to say He was inclined to “sleep on it for a while”.

Not yet close to consensus, it was left to Commissioner Andy Dance to develop an approach. “Part of me would like to see this calm down and get behind us,” he said. But he wasn’t excited about Weeks’ 11th hour tactic, which let her rule the agenda. “This is their first offer, so I think we are returning it to them, because of the big difference in the numbers you put together.” He would have liked to see a breakdown of county costs on a spreadsheet and a second offer.

This clarified things for O’Brien, who saw “no consensus” to agree. The vote to reject the offer was unanimous. They will wait for a second offer and more clarity on the numbers.

“These cases are meant to recover on behalf of the county. The amount of funds and efforts he made based on a state legal provision for the assessment of fees and charges for filing ethical complaints that were dismissed on the merits, in d ‘ other words, there has been a ruling against the veracity of the allegations, ”Hadeed told county commissioners. “And this was determined by the court by the ethics commission and the administrative law review judge which were filed without a reasonable basis, and which were filed for the purpose of slandering the appointees,” he said. he adds.

Kim Weeks’ criminal case had taken years to litigate and involved countless hours of hearings, trials and appeals. Click on the image for a larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

If the commission was inclined to accept the settlement, Hadeed said, “we should only do so on the basis that a discharge is executed by Miss Weeks who waives all possible past, present and future claims.” So in other words, that really wraps up this chapter if you will, and it includes an anti-bashing clause, again, which brings this chapter to the end. “

At the end of July, Weeks was convicted for the second time in the state felony case against her, due to her illegal recordings of state and local officials. She was sentenced to seven counts in 2018. An appeal reduced the counts to five and she was convicted again accordingly. She had to serve one month in prison (having served one day in prison previously, which was credited to her), followed by 18 months of probation, which she is still serving. According to her criminal record, her scheduled probation end date is January 27, 2022, although she may be eligible for early termination.

The conviction and felony status mean Weeks lost his state pension after working for the county for many years – in the sheriff’s office, for the court clerk and as election supervisor, winning his re-election a times but stepping down in January 2015, halfway through her second term and as the noose of what would become the criminal case against her tightened.

In November, Weeks attempted to “ease” her sentence, arguing in a motion, through her lawyer, that the charges against her should have been second degree offenses because she had no record. judicial before.

Circuit Judge Margaret Hudson dismissed the motion.

Kimberle Weeks Letter:

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