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'Currently, I do not live in Jacksonville and plan to stay outside of Jacksonville ... when I retire,' says Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams

On Your Side's Kailey Tracy was the only reporter to have a one-on-one interview with the sheriff. She asked him about selling his Jacksonville home in 2021.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams told First Coast News on camera that he doesn't live in the city he's charged with policing.

It's a move that could be a violation of Jacksonville's city charter.

On Thursday, On Your Side's Kailey Tracy was the only reporter to have a one-on-one interview with the sheriff. She asked him about selling his Jacksonville home in 2021 and then moving to Nassau County.

"Currently I do not live in Jacksonville and plan to stay outside of Jacksonville in Nassau County when I retire," Williams said.

"As you look at state law back in 2013, state law changed and there’s multiple sheriffs around the state that do not live in the county in which they serve," Williams said. 

First Coast News reached out to the mayor's office. A spokesperson declined comment on the matter and referred us to the city's office of general council. We reached out to them over the past two days and have not heard back 

The Florida Legislature repealed a requirement that sheriffs must live in the county they serve in 2010. The Legislature, however, didn't stop counties from imposing requirements like Jacksonville's charter.

The city charter, reads, "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."

When asked about constituents' concerns about Williams not living in the county he serves, he said this.

"Well look, I'm here every day, again, so, if someone has a question or wants to reach out, they can do that, and we can obviously have conversations about things that are happening in the city, and I'm available everyday," Williams said.

First Coast News spoke with Councilman Reggie Gaffney regarding the news. Gaffney said he didn't know the sheriff moved out of Duval County until Friday. 

"Surprised, surprised, surprised," Gaffney said when asked what his reaction was to the news. 

Gaffney said he hasn't talked to his colleagues about it yet, but he's "pretty sure a conversation will begin" in the next couple of weeks regarding the topic. He said he plans to meet with city attorneys too to interpret the state law vs. the city charter.  

"Then we can adequately make decisions on what's the best way to move forward," Gaffney said.

FCN also reached out to other city council members. Some declined to comment right now. Others FCN is waiting to hear back from. 

First Coast News reached out to the city attorney to see if Williams' interpretation that state law overrules the city charter is correct.

We have not heard back.

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