Florida sheriff retires after moving outside of county

June 2, 2022 GMT

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida sheriff announced his retirement amid criticism that he moved outside the Jacksonville area despite a county charter requiring that he live there.

In a statement, Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said Thursday that he did not want to deal with a court battle over his move a year ago to neighboring Nassau County.

“After some consideration, I have decided that a court battle over my residency would not be good for our community,” Williams said in a statement. “I’m proud of my 31 years of service to this City and am excited about a new chapter and new challenges.”

Williams had initially argued that state law does not require a sheriff to live in the county they serve, but the Jacksonville charter specifically requires it.

The Jacksonville City Council will hold a special meeting Monday to set a date in August for a special election to fill the sheriff’s term.