"To those who might care..." was the opening line from a statement made by Jacksonville City Councilman Matt Carlucci. He sent the message out to media in Jacksonville Wednesday night, including First Coast News' reporter Shelby Danielsen.
In the message, he calls for Mayor Lenny Curry's Chief of Staff, Brian Hughes, to resign stating that Hughes is a "troublesome liability" and that he's been "an impediment to our city..."
Carlucci, who has served three terms on Jacksonville's City Council, concluded the statement by saying: "This has lead to the worst governmental environment and chemistry that I have ever witnessed or experienced in my public service career."
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry responded to the statement, saying he has full faith in Hughes despite the criticism.
“Brian Hughes serves the City of Jacksonville faithfully and dutifully," Curry said in a statement. "I selected him as Chief of Staff in January of 2018 because of his valued and wide-ranging experience, as well as his commitment to the people of Jacksonville.... Jacksonville is Brian’s home and he has a vested and passionate interest in making this city the best it can be for all who live here.”
This isn't the first time that Hugh's job competency has been questioned.
In April of 2019, then-Councilmember Anna Brosche, sent a letter to the Office of the General Council that questioned the satisfaction of the Charter Qualifications required for the position.
Brosche cites Article 6, Section 6.07(b) of the Charter which explains that the Chief Administrative Officer should have a bachelor's degree and seven years experience in an administrative capacity in municipal government.
Jason Gabriel, the city's top attorney with the General Counsel's Office, responded saying the Mayor of Jacksonville ultimately holds all executive powers, including the duty to determine that the appointee possess the necessary qualifications for the position.
"For this appointment, the discretion and judgment to exercise that duty resides completely and unequivocally with the Mayor," Gabriel responded in the letter.