Jacksonville’s sheriff is stepping down over residency issue. What happens now?

At the end of next week, Jacksonville will no longer have a sheriff after current Sheriff Mike Williams retires.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – At the end of next week, Jacksonville will no longer have a sheriff after current Sheriff Mike Williams retires.

Williams said Thursday he plans to step down on June 10 rather than fight a court battle over his residency issue that sparked controversy.

Questions about an impending legal decision over whether he vacated his office have been swirling since last week when it was discovered that Williams had moved from Duval to Nassau County last year. According to the city’s charter: “If the sheriff should die, resign, or remove his residence from Duval County during his term of office, or be removed from office, the office of sheriff shall become vacant.”

RELATED: Jacksonville Sheriff answers questions about moving to Nassau County | Jacksonville man asks court to get involved in Sheriff Williams’ residency issue | General counsel won’t answer residency issue after Sheriff Mike Williams announces retirement

So what happens next?

The Jacksonville City Council plans to hold a special meeting next week to set a date sometime in August for a special election to fill Williams’ unexpired term. It’s not yet clear exactly when the meeting will happen.

That special election will be followed by a general election runoff in November.

Before those elections take place, the city’s charter calls for Gov. Ron DeSantis to appoint an interim sheriff to serve for at least a few months. It’s not clear when that could happen.

RELATED: Some calling for Sheriff Mike Williams to pay back salary & more to taxpayers

News4JAX contacted a DeSantis spokeswoman to ask about the coming appointment.

“We thank Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams for his years of service dedicated to serving and protecting the residents of Duval County. We will let you know if or when we have any further updates,” spokeswoman Christina Pushaw wrote in an email to News4JAX.

MORE: 2023 candidates for Jacksonville sheriff share thoughts on Mike Williams’ residency in Nassau County

In a prepared statement, Duval County Democratic Party Chair Daniel Henry said, “While we call on the Governor to make a swift appointment of an interim caretaker Sheriff. The appointment should not be any candidate seeking the elected position. Voters should decide who serves as the next elected Sheriff.”

Following the special elections later this year, there will still be a general election in spring 2023 for the office. Right now, there are six candidates who are running in that race.

Aside from triggering a special election, Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams’ announcement that he's retiring could have other ramifications, especially since it comes amid this controversy over where he lives. Political analysts Rick Mullaney and Chris Hand weigh in on what this move could mean for those saying the sheriff hasn't legally been in charge of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office since his move from Duval County to Nassau County.

About the Authors:

Digital reporter who has lived in Jacksonville for more than 25 years and focuses on important local issues like education and the environment.

Tarik anchors the 4, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. weekday newscasts and reports with the I-TEAM.