DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Despite the stepped-up vitriol by Mike Chitwood in the past two months that led to County Manager Jim Dinneen's departure, this media outlet does not share the elected sheriff's unsubstantiated claims against his targeted enemies in what clearly is an attempted power grab for his own political gain.
Clearly with Dinneen out of the picture, Chitwood's newest targets are three incumbent elected leaders on the county dais in district 3 Councilwoman Deb Denys representing greater New Smyrna Beach, Councilman Pat Patterson of DeLand and Councilman Fred Lowry of Deltona.
And there is the at-large seat being vacated by Joyce Cusack of DeLand, due to term limits and retirement at year's end, where a candidate for that seat is none other than former Sheriff Ben Johnson, who opted not to seek re-election in 2016 after 16 years of elected service as the county's top law enforcer.
Johnson, Denys, Patterson, and Dinneen are entrants in the 2018 Headline Surfer Hall of Fame. Additionally, Johnson is being recognized with an even greater honor by this media outlet: He's atop our Mount Rushmore of Central Florida's Finest (top cops) along with Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma, Orlando Police Lt. Debra Clayton (in memoriam), and Daytona Beach Police Chief Craig Capri.