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Commissioner Joe Mullins’ Speeding Controversy Makes International Headlines

Mullins at a first responder outreach in Bunnell last year. ⓒ Stephen Helfrich
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County Commissioner Joe Mullins has made headlines across the globe following the publicization of several of his prior traffic stops for speeding on local highways. In the stops, Mullins is shown on video saying things to Florida Highway Patrol troopers like ‘I run the county’, ‘I’m above the state’, and to one officer that his career may be in jeopardy. All of it comes in the homestretch of Mullins’ re-election campaign.

As of Sunday afternoon, Mullins’ traffic stop incidents have been covered by the Daytona News-Journal, People, NBC News, the Daily Mail, the Huffington Post, Yahoo News, the New York Post, and several more. He was a few days prior the top story on a Reddit forum called ‘/r/FloridaMan‘, chronicling humorous misadventures of Floridians, usually relating to crime or the law.

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Mullins released a statement to the Palm Coast Observer to address the increased scrutiny he’s received following the incidents:

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“I received a speeding ticket, paid my fine and completed traffic school. I never asked for any favors. I regret how I spoke to the officer. I fully support and love law enforcement and look forward to winning my upcoming election and servicing Flagler County for four more years.”

Prior to this statement, Mullins was largely dismissive of the criticism, posting briefly to Facebook to characterize his critics as ‘far left liberal media, bloggers and unhinged obsessed Social media trolls’. The statement was likely aimed in chief to FlaglerLive, the outlet which first reported the conduct earlier this month.

The passage in Mullins’ statement which claims he didn’t ask for favors refers to moments in multiple clips in which Mullins provides his County Commission business card to FHP troopers. He informed them this way and verbally that he was a County Commissioner, but did not explicitly request from them any preferential treatment on that basis. He did dispute the stops soon thereafter in varying ways, and to one trooper hinted at his governmental authority coming into play (“I’m above the state”). Mullins wrote letters to two judges, one each from Seminole and Flagler counties, requesting leniency for the speeding violations.

The attention comes at a particularly inconvenient time for Mullins, who is running against fellow Republican Leann Pennington and NPA candidate Jane Gentile-Youd. The winner of Mullins and Pennington’s primary will go on to face Gentile-Youd in the general election. A primary poll put forth by a Flagler Republican group resulted in a 77.3% victory for Pennington (41 votes out of 53) against Mullins. As of now Mullins sits in the Chair position on the County Commission, and so a victory by either Pennington or Gentile-Youd would serve to significantly upset the balance of power on the Commission. Either one would be the first election win for a woman to the County Commission since Barbara Revels in 2008.

Written By

Chris Gollon is a Flagler County resident since 2004, as well as a staple of the local independent music scene and avid observer of Central Florida politics, arts, and recreation.

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. TR

    July 18, 2022 at 11:21 am

    Good. Maybe now this moron will be voted out. The more people know about this before election day the better. I guess after he looses the election and his divorce is final he will pack his bag and move someplace else where he thinks he can run the county. Hey Joe, on your way out, don’t let the door hit you were the good lord split you.

  2. Cindy

    July 18, 2022 at 12:47 pm

    He should be setting examples and abiding the law not breaking it! Remove him from his position.

  3. CAJ

    July 18, 2022 at 12:50 pm

    He should be setting examples and abiding the law not breaking it! Remove him from his position.

  4. R. Morrissey

    July 18, 2022 at 1:52 pm

    I agree out with people like him. If they can’t follow the law how would they do the right thing for the people of the county! Don’t let the door hit you in the A.. and I hope one of the other people win’s. You should never ever have a position in government again!!

    • L

      July 19, 2022 at 5:47 am

      Make sure you vote then and only then change can happen.

  5. Mack

    July 21, 2022 at 10:55 am

    How can he afford a $300,000 car as the county commissioner?

    • AJ

      July 25, 2022 at 5:11 am

      There are people who run for public office in order to serve their community.

      There are others who run so they can say things like “I run this county” or “I am above the law”.

      Choose wisely.

    • TR

      August 5, 2022 at 12:56 pm

      He won’t be driving it much longer. He owns several businesses that are all about to go bankrupt as well as going through a divorce. He handles him money by robbing from one of his companies to pay paul to another company. That will always come back and bit you in the butt. Two of his apartment complexes he owns in Ga. are in deplorable condition and are on the verge of being deemed inhabitable. One complex has 56 units and he only has about 4 tenants, so that goes to show he doesn’t care about people just like he doesn’t care about the people of Flagler County. He needs to go and hopefully come election time the smart people of Flagler will vote him out and of office. Unfortunately he’ll probably pack his stuff and move to another state and try to get on the county seat there and do it all over again.

  6. Jeff Blankenship

    July 31, 2022 at 1:40 pm

    No one wonders how a County Commissioner pays for a Ferrari?

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