NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – A confrontation involving the chairwoman of the Nassau County commission at an Amelia Island resort more than a month ago was followed with an allegation that the woman asked the sheriff to cover up the incident.
According to an incident report filed March 9 by Nassau County deputies, Commissioner Stacy Johnson exchanged words with a woman at the bar at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Witnesses said Johnson told the woman: "I just wanted you to know I deleted you from my Facebook account, you fat bitch."
The report says the other woman grabbed Johnson's arm and punched her in the face. The confrontation spilled outside, where hotel surveillance video shows Johnson blocking the woman's van from leaving until deputies arrived.
The video shows people and parking attendants standing around trying to figure out what was happening.
The report says both Johnson and the other woman appeared to be intoxicated and neither wanted to press charges. Both where escorted off the property.
Nassau County Sheriff Tommy Seagraves said Johnson called her shortly after the incident to ask if he could pull the report from the public file because she was running for re-election.
Seagraves said Johnson, "asked if I could pull it (the report) from the media, because she was running for re-election. I told her I cannot do that, it would be against the law. She said 'I'm not asking you to break the law.'"
Seagraves said he made it clear that if the media outlets made open records requests for the report, his office would comply. Channel 4 and other news media did ask for the report.
Johnson was not available for comment about the issue, but the Nassau County Supervisor of Elections office said Johnson withdrew her name as a candidate in this year's race for District 3 two days ago.
Reaction from Nassau County residents has been mixed, but some told Channel 4's Jim Piggott that while the issue is small, it raises big concerns.
"I don't think that is something that should be hidden," said Angela Jumpp. "I think if she wants to hide something that small of an incident from the public, that there is probably other things she is hiding."