Council accepts embattled Jax Beach city attorney’s resignation

The city council voted last week to begin the process of terminating Christopher Ambrosio’s employment

Christopher Ambrosio, 48 (Copyright 2021 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – The Jacksonville Beach city attorney facing removal over his arrest in a sex crime case offered to resign Wednesday rather than be fired.

During a special meeting Thursday, the Jacksonville Beach City Council voted to accept Christopher Ambrosio’s resignation. It was a move supported by the city manager, according to a city memo.

Board members last week voted unanimously to move forward with a plan to terminate Ambrosio, 48, who was previously suspended following his March 24 arrest on a felony charge of lewd and lascivious molestation.

In a memo Wednesday, City Manager Mike Staffopolous informed the city council that Ambrosio had submitted his resignation on the condition that he be paid out for accrued leave, base salary and benefits.

“The conditions referenced by Mr. Ambrosio are consistent with the actions taken by City Council at the March 31, 2021 meeting. Staff recommendation is for Council to formally accept the City Attorney’s resignation under the conditions stipulated,” the memo stated.

The memo goes on to say that city staff wants permission to post the job vacancy for at least 30 days. The search for Ambrosio’s successor and the interview process will be taken up at the council’s meeting on April 26.

Ambrosio, who was appointed to the city attorney post about 18 months ago, was earning a starting salary of $150,000 at the time of his October 2019 hire. It wasn’t immediately clear Thursday how much of his salary and benefits he would walk away with.

“The financial impacts of the above actions can be discussed at the Special Council Meeting on April 8, 2021,” the memo stated.

Ambrosio was arrested by the Atlantic Beach Police Department and booked into the Duval County jail early March 24. The arrest stems from a complaint made about a February sleepover Ambrosio is alleged to have had with a minor.

Court records show the alleged victim is between 12 and 16 years old.

Ambrosio, who has a court hearing set for April 14, is free on bond. He has been ordered to wear a GPS monitor and avoid having any contact with the alleged victim or their family while awaiting trial.

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