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From the start Scott Adams made it clear he wasn’t elected to the county commission to make friends.
Commissioner Adams spared no one in 2013, repeatedly and publicly calling out fellow commissioners and top county staffers.
He tried — unsuccessfully — to fire both the county administrator and county attorney.
He filed an ethics complaint against Commissioner Rebecca Bays over her husband’s appointment to a new development board, and then squawked when the commission voted to pay Bays’ legal fees after the state ethics commission decided not to pursue the case.
Adams accused top county management of malfeasance for a 2011 recycling billing error. When the state attorney’s office investigated and found no wrongdoing, Adams accused State Attorney Brad King of having a conflict of interests and asked that another state attorney conduct the investigation. King declined.
Adams has railed against higher taxes and the county’s blaming Duke Energy for its financial woes.
Then there are Adams’ business interests.
In July, a Citrus County garbage hauler said Adams tried to steer his disposal business away from the county landfill to a landfill the commissioner co-owns with state Sen. Charlie Dean in Sumter County. Adams denied the accusation, saying that he only suggested the hauler speak with his business partner, Charlie Dean Jr.
Later, the city of Inverness decided to begin shipping its garbage to Adams’ landfill. Adams, anticipating the potential for the county to do the same thing, received an opinion from an ethics commission attorney that said the county could do business with Adams so long as it was by sealed bid and Adams didn’t participate in creating the bid specifications.
Other Adams’ 2013 highlights:
+ He is the only commissioner with an active Facebook page, which had 884 “likes” as of Friday. Adams says most of the posting is done under his name by his wife, Pam, or by Debbie Ressler, chairwoman of the Citrus County Hospital Board. Along with posting numerous photos of himself at community events, Adams often uses the page to criticize fellow commissioners for their votes or opinions that are contrary to his.
+ Adams often feuded with Commissioner Joe Meek, who was chairman for much of 2013. When Meek learned Adams planned an attempt to fire then-County Attorney Richard Wesch, Meek said: “That’s extremely unfortunate to hear. It’s another example of him attempting to cause chaos and disruption. ... I’m not going to let this turn into a circus sideshow.”
During an October debate about whether to pay Commissioner Bays’ attorney fees for Adams’ ethics complaint, Adams told Meek: “I avoid dealing with you because you’re so bizarre sometimes.”
+ Also in October, County Administrator Brad Thorpe accused Adams of creating a hostile work environment and, by memo, told him to stop speaking with Thorpe’s staff.
“You have repeatedly insulted me and my staff on numerous occasions both publicly and privately,” Thorpe wrote.
Adams responded: “If questioning you on your actions and practices makes you feel it’s work place harassment, this is not my intentions, it’s my job. Staff and myself do not communicate at all unless it is through your direction.”
+ Adams ended the year on one non-controversial note. At his suggestion, the county commission approved renaming a community park in Hernando after the Alexander family.
Contact Chronicle reporter Mike Wright at 352-563-3228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.