Dr. Joe Saviak, Assistant Director of the Public Administration department and Associate Professor at Flagler College, has been in the news a lot lately, making him quite the public figure as he shamelessly promotes his half-owned book (don’t look for it on Oprah’s list), tickets to his overhyped lecture on local government, and general know-it-all impression of himself as an influencer of public opinion in politics. Turn your head and cough.
During the recent re-election of Mayor Nancy Shaver, St Augustine’s first female mayor selected by the voters, Saviak turned publicly abusive and seized on the recent tragedy of Hurricane Matthew to falsely accuse Shaver of going “missing”. Saviak said that as the disaster unfolded, he did not see the mayor in the streets in front of his damaged Dolphin Drive home. Saviak printed missing person’s posters, complete with phony tear-tags along the bottom, with a number to report any sightings. The posters showed a photograph of Shaver and asked “Have you seen this mayor?”. During the close pass of the Category 3 hurricane, the mayor was serving the community, sequestered inside the St Johns County Emergency Operation Center, answering telephone calls, collecting and distributing details critical to the lifesaving mission at hand.
In any event, the 48-year-old Saviak may be setting himself up for his next career. Historic City News learned that incoming Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly has tapped Saviak to be part of an elite “transition team” to advise Staly as he moves into his new position. Saviak is the only one of eleven named members to live in St Johns County.
“I am very appreciative of our community and business leaders that are willing to serve on the transition team,” Staly told local reporters. “Like so many members of our community they are deeply concerned and committed to the safety of our community and making the Sheriff’s Office the best Agency in the state.”
The last time Saviak worked with a sheriff’s election team and went on to be employed as Chief of Staff, he was fired for writing threatening letters on Orange County Sheriff’s letterhead which he then sent to a Florida Supreme Court Justice and members of The Florida Bar. He was angry because he failed the bar exam. Although he obtained a law degree, Saviak has never been licensed to practice law.
Staly took the opportunity to announce the appointment of Jack Bisland to serve as his Undersheriff. Staley and Bisland will co-chair the transition team, whose remaining members include Saviak and:
- Cmdr. Bob Weber, Palm Coast, FL, FCSO Commander, Retired
- Chief Mark Strobridge, Chuluota, FL, Division Chief, Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Retired
- Mr. Kevin McCarthy, Daytona Beach, FL, Coastal Florida PBA Representative
- Colonel Lloyd Freckleton, Flagler Beach, FL, U.S. Army Military Police and NYCDC, Riker’s Island Warden, Retired
- Mr. Ken Neu, Palm Coast, FL, Assistant Chief, Violent Crimes and Major Offenders Program, Criminal Investigative Division, FBIHQ, Washington, DC, Retired
- Ms. Jackie Rector, Palm Coast, FL, Insurance Executive
- Mr. Edward Gepner, Palm Coast, FL, Gepner & Associates CPA
- Mr. Frank DeAngelo, Palm Coast, FL, President & CEO, Applejam, Inc. (d/b/a Applebees), Retired
- Major Braulio Peruvero, Palm Coast, FL, Florida Department of Corrections, Retired