DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Sheriff Michael J. Chitwood was universally condemned by five leading former county leaders contacted by Headline Surfer for their reaction to the elected lawman's pointed description of County Manager Jim Dinneen as a "lying sack of (expletive)" in a story published Wednesday in the Daytona Beach News-Journal.
The officials Headline Surfer interviewed said the statement made by Chitwood along with a demand that the manager be fired, was so patently offensive as to put a stain on Volusia County and its citizens, considering his high-profile elected post.
Former County Chairs Jason Davis and Frank Bruno, as well as former Councilwomen Joie Alexander and Patricia Northey were in agreement in seperate phone interviews with Headline Surfer that at a minimum, Chitwood should issue a public apology to Dinneen and the citizens of Volusia County as soon as possible. Tp date, however, Chitwood has said noyjing."
"An apology is in order to say the least," said Frank Bruno, Volusia County's first elected cchair weith 20 yars on the dais untill his second four-year stint as chair ended in 2012 and his name recognized by that council as "The Frank T. Bruno, Jr. Council Chambers."
"Wghat kind of a message is he sending with that kind of language to our youth" Bruno asked.
Jason Davis, chairman for one term ending in 2916, said, "It's disrespectful to the person who approves his budget before it goes to the County Council," said Davis.
Patricia Northey, also with 20 years on the dais, who lost to Joyce Cusack for her at-large seat in 2014 after term limits precented her from trying to hold onto her District 5 seat out of Deltona, said she was "quite appled," by Chitwood's choice of words adding, "There is some decorum that is ecpected when you hold an elected office."
Joie Alexander, former council nember who represented Southeast Volusia for two terms and having served an additional term as an at-large representative, said Chitwood's comments were "a despicable and shameful affront to the citizens of Volusia County as well as to Mr. Dinneen."
All five said an apology is in order, but Northey was the only one of the five to rule out resignation, saying," We don't need to go thst far."
As to whether an apology would be forthcoming by Chitwood, none of the candidates believed Chitwood would do so.
"It's not in hois make-up," Davis said. "That's just the way he is and he's not going to change."
The war of words were inititiated by Chitwood -- first through the Marc Bernier Show on WNDB Radio and then the News-Journal -- and little was said on he dais whn the council was in session Thursday except by at-Large Councilwoman Joyce Cusack who said she stood by Dinneen without mentioning Chitwood by name. Nnothing was placed on the agenda in advance of the council meeting.
County Chair Ed Kelley told Headline Surfer in advance of Thuesday's meeting that Chitwood's comments were athetic, but he added he believes he can "build a bridge between the two." Kelley would not elaborate.