Bombshell Report: Lenny Curry and Co.’s Culture of Corruption and Intimidation Is Even Worse Than You Thought

Bombshell Report: Lenny Curry and Co.’s Culture of Corruption and Intimidation Is Even Worse Than You Thought

New Report Underscores Need for Independent Voices on City Council

Curry and Co. Are Using Threats and Intimidation to Defend Disgraced Development Deal

In a bombshell report, the Jacksonville Times-Union today revealed that Lenny Curry’s Chief of Staff Brian Hughes allegedly threatened to retaliate against Republican City Councilman Matt Schellenberg for speaking out against a shady deal with developers. After Schellenberg expressed “disappointment” about the deal, the Mayor’s team cryptically threatened to block Schellenberg's priorities for the rest of his term.

What did Schellenberg really do wrong in the eyes of Team Curry? Simply express regret that the administration had failed to uncover “$11 million in financial judgments” against the main investor behind a project backed by the administration. That's right: in Lenny Curry's Jacksonville, calling for clean government and the responsible use of taxpayer money gets you punished.

Even worse, Hughes is set to get a big promotion. In two months, Hughes will become the City of Jacksonville's Chief Administrative Office — an even more powerful perch from which he'll be able to double down on City Hall's policy of abusing taxpayer money, silencing dissent — and defending crooked deals.

“Mayor Curry has created a culture of intimidation and corruption in City Hall that rewards corporate special interests — and silences everyone else,” said Duval County Democratic Chair Daniel Henry. “Today’s report makes clear we need to elect independent voices who aren’t afraid to stand up to the Mayor and his cronies and put the people of Jacksonville first.  We need Councilmembers who will safeguard taxpayer money and fight for clean government — not be another rubber stamp for the Mayor."

BACKGROUND:

Jacksonville Times-Union: Jacksonville City Councilman: Mayor’s staffer threatened retaliation for Berkman criticism

  • A Jacksonville City Council member said Brian Hughes, Mayor Lenny Curry’s chief of staff and the interim leader of the Downtown Investment Authority, threatened retaliation against him after he criticized an incentive-rich deal to redevelop downtown’s vacant Berkman 2 property, which faces an uncertain future after a Mississippi development firm backed out of the deal last week.
  • In a Times-Union story about $11 million in financial judgments against companies tied to the Stewart family, whose family trust is the main investor of the now-foiled Berkman project, Councilman Matt Schellenberg said he was “disappointed” that the DIA didn’t uncover the financial problems before asking the City Council to sign off on the development deal and called for an investigation into the company.
  • Hours after the story published online on Friday, Hughes sent Schellenberg two text messages: a screenshot of Schellenberg’s quote in the story and a cryptic statement.
  • “I hope Matt gets everything he needs prior to June 30,” Hughes wrote, in reference to Schellenberg’s last day in office later this year.
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Duval Dems Responds to Duval GOP

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Daniel Henry, Chair
Duval Democratic Party Executive Committee
daniel@duvaldems.org
C: 904.708.0749


DUVAL DEMS CHAIR RESPONDS TO DUVAL GOP

JACKSONVILLE, FL, February 11, 2019 -- Duval County Democratic Party Chair Daniel Henry today released the following statement in response to the Duval GOP’s false attacks.

“The Duval County Democratic Party represents every facet of our large and incredibly diverse community. On January 28th, our party passed a unanimous resolution opposing the re-election of Lenny Curry. We recognize the devastating impacts Curry has had on transparency in government, the continuation of the Curry Crime Wave, removal of opponents from city boards, bullying and demands of loyalty from public officials, and the attempted sale JEA.

“It is deeply saddening to see a fractured Duval GOP perpetuate partisan attacks during this unitary election. This is endemic of the toxic national political discourse Curry has brought to our community. Contrary to their false claims, we are unanimously certain the re-election of Curry is not in the best interest of Jacksonville and passed a resolution reflecting our views without the influence of any candidates.

“Although they claim the endorsement of two (2) Democratic officials represent “broad bi-partisan support”, nothing could be further from reality. In fact, it stands in direct contrast to the overwhelming and diverse opposition to Lenny Curry from members of the Democratic Party and the community as a whole.

“We reiterate our opposition to the re-election of Lenny Curry and encourage all Democrats to vote for the candidate that best represents Democratic values.”

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Duval Dems Oppose the Re-election of Lenny Curry


Last week, our party membership unanimously passed a resolution opposing the re-election of Lenny Curry. Four more years of this incumbent will have devastating impacts on transparency in government, the continuation of the Curry Crime Wave, and the sale of public assets against the public’s expressed interest like JEA. We encourage all Democrats to make an informed decision in the Mayor’s race and reject former statewide Republican party boss, Lenny Curry.

Special interests and elected officials have tried to make the case that Curry, regularly crosses the aisle, and puts people before politics. Democrats reject that false narrative, and in fact, nothing can be further from the truth. Bi-partisan leaders don’t remove opponents from city boards, bully and demand loyalty from public officials, and reject calls for transparency.

For this and so many reasons, the Duval County Democratic Party opposes the re-election of Lenny Curry and encourages all Democrats to participate in the Mayoral election and vote for a candidate who best aligns with Democratic values.


Daniel Henry becomes DCDEC Chair

I’m humbled and honored to become the Chair of the Duval County Democratic Party. My friend, mentor, and now predecessor, Lisa King has decided to run for Jacksonville’s City Council. Although we will miss her leadership, I know she is a leader our city needs to deliver on long overdue promises. She has my unwavering support and I look forward to seeing a selfless public servant elected to the council’s At-Large Group 1 seat this March.

Holding this position is even more of honor knowing I am the youngest and first African American male elected Chair in our local party’s history. With my dedicated years of party leadership, I take this mantle with the same passion and drive I had from the beginning of my service - hungry to lead an amazing and dedicated group of volunteers to victory!

Daniel Henry

DCDEC Chair


Press Release: Duval Democratic Resurgence Event

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE      
                                                                     
CONTACT:
Daniel Henry
dhenry808@gmail.com
 
 
"DUVAL DEMOCRATIC RESURGENCE"
DUVAL DEMS HOST 2018 ELECTION CAMPAIGN KICK OFF
 
JACKSONVILLE, FL, January 29, 2018 -- In light of the 2016 election outcomes and the reorganization of the Democratic Party in 2017, we are excited to host this revival event. We know the importance of coalition building and community engagement and this event will provide a space for both.
We will emphasize on how we plan to get voters out and elect accountable, diverse leaders in all levels of government. Duval Dems are just under 6000 votes away from turning our county blue. This Resurgence event is our first step to close that ever-shrinking gap.

Press Release: (click here)

 

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