Volusia County manager will no longer hold office past this week

Controversy brewed in Volusia County, as the County Manager, Jim Dinneen,  put in his notice that he plans to retire. Dinneen has offered to stay on for six months through a transition period, but an online petition called for the council to immediately cut ties. 

A council met on Tuesday morning and decided that by the end of this week, Volusia County manager Jim Dinneen will no longer hold office. Dinneen says that he is happy that council let him retire early and he is looking forward to a vacation.

Public outcry called for County Manager Jim Dinneen's termination, as over 2,000 signatures were gathered on an online petition to end Dinneen's term.

Last week, Dinneen submitted his resignation letter saying that he wanted to pursue other opportunities. This came after weeks of scrutiny surrounding problems at the medical examiner's office and staff shortages for emergency responders.

Sheriff Mike Chitwood didn't hold back when addressing council, stating that Dinneen has "lost his legitimacy to lead. He has lost the trust and confidence of the community and the workforce."

While council accepted Dinneen's resignation, it was his contract that was the topic of conversation. It requires him to work a six-month transition period and entitles him to nearly $250,000 in severance pay. That did not sit well with council member Heather Post.

Post said that "there is a significant cause for misconduct, nonfeasance, malfeasance, violation to the county for honesty and all of those are listed in his contract for terms of just cause."

But, council members chose not to discuss termination and quickly voted to allow Dinneen to retire with all of his benefits and pay. 

Dinneen is happy about his early retirement, saying "I'm all happy. I get to retire. I got stuff to do. I have a vacation planned you know. And then I have enough life left in me. I'll be doing another job soon. Either in the public sector or private sector. So I'm pretty happy."

Deputy County Manager George Recktenwald will take over as interim county manager for 90 days until a full-time replacement can be hired.