JACKSONVILLE, Fla – We are now hearing from outgoing Sheriff Mike Williams following his announcement that he would retire due to the ongoing controversy over his move to Nassau County. Governor Ron DeSantis is also speaking out about the controversy saying that he didn’t believe Williams knew he was in violation of city charter.
DeSantis visited Jacksonville on Monday and announced Undersheriff Pat Ivey will be interim sheriff and he endorsed T.K. Waters ahead of the upcoming special election for sheriff.
The thing both Governor DeSantis and Sheriff Williams spoke about was continuity -- making sure JSO would continue to function as Jacksonville’s police agency without any problems while there’s an interim sheriff and a special election looming later this summer.
“I will be elevating the Undersheriff Pat Ivey to be the Sheriff when Mike Williams steps down on Friday,” DeSantis said during the press briefing at JFRD Fire Station #50. “I’m supporting T.K. Waters for the next Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, sheriff of JSO,” he also said.
Williams said he was enforcing Waters because of his excellent leadership and background.
“I think he has a tremendous background,” DeSantis said after announcing his endorsement. “I think he’s been involved in various levels of law enforcement. I think he would provide really excellent leadership for the people of Jacksonville. That’ll be determined obviously in August, November, beyond. He has my support there. But for this immediate appointment, Pat Ivey will get the nod on Friday.”
“My chapter ends Friday -- left in very capable hands by Pat Ivey,” Williams said. “Then we look forward to what happens in the election. Then a big day today with TK Waters being endorsed by the Governor. So you know, exciting times.”
During the announcement, DeSantis thanked Williams for his service to Jacksonville and said he thinks Nassau County is a beautiful place.
“I just want to thank Mike Williams for his service,” DeSantis said. “He’s had a great career in law enforcement. I think he’s done a great job here in northeast Florida and I think he’s been a good public servant, he’s been somebody I consider a friend. I wish him fair winds and following seas, I guess as a Nassau County resident, it’s a beautiful place. We thank him for his service.”
Sheriff Mike Williams set off a firestorm after it was revealed he sold his Oceanway home and moved to Nassau County. In a statement, he said he would retire a year early to avoid a courtroom battle.
Right now, there are six candidates who are running in the 2023 election. Candidates planning to run in the general election now have a lot less time to campaign and raise money.
The special election is expected to take place August 23 with a runoff election — if needed -- in November.