Ugly feud escalates between commissioner and turtle center

The on-going battle between District 4 Commissioner Rob Williamson and representatives from the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center resulted in an impasse July 6, so District 5 Commissioner Lane Lynchard stepped in to help resolve the matter.

Williamson June 11 moved to suspend all county funds for the center until accounting questions could be addressed.

“Most of the mistakes that were made were internal,” Williamson said Monday after looking further into the issues. However, he refused to support reinstating county funds, engaging instead in a lengthy and contentious series of accusations with center representatives.

“We feel like we’re getting kicked under the table because we’ve done no wrong,” Henry Tyler, a center volunteer said.

Cathy Holmes, project director for the center, confronted Williamson about “condescending” emails she said had escalated to “threatening” communication from him.

Williamson shot back, stating, “I can’t work with people I don’t trust.”

Lynchard said he wanted to reach out to the center to see if a resolution was possibly by Thursday’s board meeting.

Read the full story in the July 9 edition of Navarre Press or subscribe online here.

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