Former Jacksonville City Council member Randy DeFoor is withdrawing herself from consideration to become the city’s next General Counsel.
Action News Jax told you last month when council members raised concerns about Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan’s pick. The group voted for an emergency bill asking the state ethics commission whether DeFoor could serve as General Counsel.
In response, Deegan said every legal and ethics expert she consulted saw no issues with DeFoor taking on the role.
“The reason we did not ask for this opinion earlier is because every single one of those people told us that this is not an issue. That general counsel is not a policymaker, that general council represents the mayor and represents the council, and is not a lobbyist,” Deegan said last month.
DeFoor released the following statement:
“Thank you to Mayor Deegan for her nomination to be General Counsel for her and the Consolidated Government of Jacksonville, the City I love. In the best interest of both, I withdraw my request for consent to the nomination. My support for this Mayor, and my belief that we must as a city unite in support of her is undiminished; We must rise above politics to create a better environment for all of us. After watching the events of the past few weeks in this and other related matters, I would remind us of the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.:
“‘If we do not learn to live together as brothers [and sisters], we shall perish together as fools.’
“This is my only prayer for all of us. I look forward to serving this community in other capacities and will have no further comment at this time.”
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Deegan released the following statement in response:
“I’m grateful that Randy was willing to continue serving the city we both love. I stand by her impeccable character and qualifications. Randy has the support of all the city’s independent authorities and a large, bipartisan coalition of community and business leaders. Jacksonville needs a General Counsel who has her vast experience, commitment to service, and belief that unity is our only path forward. We will continue moving ahead with those qualities in mind.”
A news release from the city said that an Acting General Counsel will be announced soon, and their term begins Oct. 1.