FOP vice president resigns over sheriff endorsement


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – News4Jax has learned that a vice president of the Fraternal Order of Police has resigned his post over how the FOP chose to endorse a candidate for Jacksonville sheriff.

Jimmy Ricks has turned in his resignation letter after the FOP endorsed Jimmy Holderfield for sheriff.

The endorsement was never put to a vote of FOP members -- and was decided by a committee hand-picked by the president.

The endorsement didn't sit well with a number of members of the union because there are multiple candidates for sheriff and the election is not even until next year.

This is an excerpt from Ricks' resignation letter: "I, Mr. President cannot support this type of leadership and believe much of our members deserve better. I will not support any action that misleads, compromises or simply put creates the appearance of any impropriety to this membership or organization."

News4Jax political analyst Jennifer Carroll said she was surprised by all of this.

"Usually organizations try to stay out of (races) when they have multiple candidates running," Carroll said. "You have seven candidates in this race for sheriff in 2015. Four of them are Republicans. Two of them are Democrats, and you have one NPA. And all it's going to do is cause dissension in the organization, particularly if it's a dictatorship assumed by the members that they want to be able to elect the person that they feel comfortable with."

Ten other police officers resigned within the last month from the FOP because of this endorsement.

News4Jax contacted the FOP about Ricks' resignation, but we have not received a response yet.

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