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Palm Coast Monday, Jan. 11, 2021 9 months ago

After more complaints about Mullins, County Commission considers session to establish norms of behavior

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Residents criticized Mullins for saying on WNZF radio that he wanted to behead liberals and for sponsoring a group that traveled to Washington D.C. to protest against accepting the results of the election.
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

Facing renewed complaints about Commissioner Joe Mullins' behavior, Flagler County commissioners will consider holding a meeting to establish rules of conduct.

Commissioner Andy Dance floated the proposal at a meeting Jan. 11 after residents criticized Mullins for saying on WNZF radio that he wanted to behead liberals, using county letterhead to urge Florida's congressional delegation to object to the vote count in states won by Biden, and sponsoring a group that traveled to Washington D.C. to protest against accepting the results of the presidential election.

Among the critics was Ken Bryan, a Flagler Beach city commissioner who spoke at the meeting as a resident, not an official.

"The oath means everything to me. ... It's unfortunate that some individuals who took the same oath ... violated that oath to organize and lead dozens of protestors to our nation's capital to participate in a heinous attack on our country."

 

— KEN BRYAN

Bryan, a veteran with a long history of government service, recalled the oath he'd taken to uphold the Constitution and defend the nation from all enemies, foreign and domestic. 

"The oath means everything to me," Bryan said. "... It's unfortunate that some individuals who took the same oath ... violated that oath to organize and lead dozens of protestors to our nation's capital to participate in a heinous attack on our country. ... This was a clear violation of that oath they took to uphold the Constitution, and they defamed it and basically dishonored it, and they should not be holding office today."

Residents have called for Mullins to be censured before, but that's hard to justify when ground rules haven't been established, Dance said.

"He has every right to go and protest, I think we just have to be aware of tone," Dance said. "And I don’t agree with some of the comments he’s made, especially on the radio show."

Commissioner David Sullivan said he'd probably oppose Dance's proposed meeting, since it would have to be public. Commissioner Chairman Donald O'Brien asked the commission to delay a decision until Commissioner Greg Hansen, who was absent on Jan. 11, returns.

Mullins said that "getting on the same page would be good," but didn't apologize.

"My radio show is my personal business, and my personal business will not be impacted by any decision made up here," he said from the dais. 

Mullins made the beheading comment in his pre-recorded radio show on WNZF.

He'd compared COVID-19 restrictions to cutting off your arm because because it was cancerous, then added, "What do you do if you get it [cancer] in your head? Maybe there are some liberals I’d like to see their heads cut off — you know, they couldn’t do that thinking-crazy thing they do."

Mullins acknowledged traveling to D.C. with local protesters: He'd spoken with the Palm Coast Observer by phone at about 4 p.m. Jan. 6, the day rioters breached the Capitol as Republicans in Congress debated whether to accept the election's results. He denied involvement with the violence.

“It started out real peaceful, like a typical Trump rally," he'd said. "...When Pence did what he did, the crowd went berserk. People started storming the Capitol. When we started hearing shots fired, we got up and left.”

"If you get cancer in your arm, is it worth going and having your arm cut off? What do you do if you get it in your head? Maybe there are some liberals I’d like to see their heads cut off — you know, they couldn’t do that thinking-crazy thing they do," Mullins had said, and laughed.

Mullins was referring to Vice President Mike Pence's announcement hat he would disobey President Donald Trump’s direction to stop Congress from certifying the election, which was won by Democrat Joe Biden.

Mullins admitted that he was personally more motivated by preserving Republican power and the party’s principles than he was motivated by a belief that the election was literally stolen. He also said it was time for Trump to concede.

Mullins said he'd sponsored, but not organized, the D.C. bus trip. 

That had been done by resident Mark Phillips, who spoke at the Jan. 11 meeting.

"We all went there to do a peaceful protest," said Phillips, who posted a video before the rally suggesting that would-be attendees bring body armor, mace and a knife, "to be prepared."

"What we had in D.C. on the sixth was an amazing, beautiful sight of patriots from all over this country coming together to support our president," he said.

Phillips repeated discredited claims blaming Antifa and Black Lives Matter for the attack on the Capitol. No one mentioned the five people who died in the riot.

— Brian McMillan contributed to this story.

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