Letter: Board should not renew attorney’s contract
St Augustine, FL
I see that, once again, the issue of Patrick McCormack continuing his employment as the County Attorney comes before the Board of County Commissioners.
Last month McCormack’s employment contract was not renewed, but rather was given a six month extension of his current contract. There must be a reason for this indecision.
The public is rapidly becoming aware of the dissension, discord, and turn over, resignations and discharges within the County Attorney’s office.
As a result of his inept actions as the supervisor of one of the most critical departments of county government, St Johns County is facing a lawsuit of wrongful arrest, filed by a former assistant county attorney. Surely Mr. McCormack understands the employment statutes, is familiar with human resource standards as well as county policy and practices.
McCormack disrupts the lives of county employees, creates dissension and causes lawsuits to be brought against the county. Why would he take such egregious actions?
One answer that comes to the forefront is his annual salary of $156,560 — which is more than our State Attorney, who oversees four counties. He takes more salary than the local Sheriff and more money than the Superintendent of Schools. In fact, his salary is higher than that of Attorney General Pam Bondi. In 2010, Pam Bondi received $128,872.
A taxpayer might ask “WHY” Mr. McCormack is so well paid when this state has no lack of better qualified attorneys who work for less. Consider that Mr. McCormack’s salary is on par with that of an Associate Justice of the Florida Supreme Court.
If McCormack’s contract were to expire, what kind of honest assessment and recommendation for employment could St Johns County offer? Because of his work history, perhaps this is another reason that he is fighting so vociferously for his job and destroying the lives of everyone around him in the process. By systematically eliminating every other attorney within his department, McCormack seeks to make himself indispensable to the County. No one is indispensable.
St Johns County citizens deserve better in terms of our highly paid county employees and we deserve better in terms of strategic leadership. Certainly, if the people on the street know what is happening, the Board of County Commissioners must be aware of the behavior of this individual.
My suggestion is to wish Mr. McCormack well in his new career, elsewhere. Compensation for the position of county attorney should not exceed that of the Florida Attorney General. Apply the savings toward the settlement of the outstanding and soon to be filed lawsuits.
With the quality of life offered by St Johns County, highly qualified attorneys will seek this excellent employment position.