In the latest poll sent out to Newsletter subscribers of Sebastian Daily, 83% of readers support the recall to remove Damien Gilliams and Pamela Parris from office.
The poll also showed that 10% didn’t support the recall, while 7% didn’t care either.
During the last City Council meeting on Wednesday, February 26, 2020, members from the Sebastian Voters Against Gilliams and Parris spoke up after being threatened by Gilliams. Some of the concerned Citizens from the group have already filed police reports.
Gilliams is being accused of creating multiple Facebook accounts to threaten the group and the individuals for supporting the recall. One account, with the name of Vinnie Sarducci, has been seen in multiple Sebastian Facebook groups. Gilliams allegedly used photos of an older man taken from Pinterest to create the fake profile and account.
Gilliams was allegedly caught when he tried to post a comment without realizing he was still using the fake account.
“This is why your group will ultimately fail. They avoid engaging with me because they are forced to keep the debate related to ACTUAL FACTS, the issues are policies since they can’t attack me or single me out or shame me on a personal basis,” Gilliams wrote using the Vinnie Sarducci Facebook account.
Gilliams allegedly deleted the comment after realizing what account he was using. Another Facebook user informed Gilliams that he did a “screen grab” before it was deleted. A screen grab is an image that captures a computer or mobile display at a particular moment before the text/content is deleted.
Here’s the screen grab provided.
Christopher Nunn, one of the leaders of the concerned Citizens group, spoke at the City Council meeting.
“We no longer accept bullying or intimidation or constant lying from our elected officials. They need to be held to a higher standard as our representatives as they should hold themselves to a higher standard of behavior,” Nunn said.
“I find it funny how these days when a person doesn’t want to own up to their actions, words, or illegal activities, they call out ‘I’ve been hacked’ like somebody else did what they did,” Nunn added.
The ‘hack’ reference comes after Gilliams said his phone was hacked, which is why he reset his City-issued phone back to factory settings, causing all text messages to be lost. Mayor Ed Dodd said the City is exploring avenues to recover the missing text messages.
Also, Parris told residents that she was hacked after she allegedly wrote a controversial post calling people fat & obese and our visitors from the north “Carpetbagger Yankees.” Parris would then tell residents that the press lied even though the post remained on her Facebook account for months.
During the City Council meeting, a few directors from the Sebastian Property Owners Association (SPOA) were seen passing out a letter to residents from Gilliams. At this time, Gilliams still serves as president of the SPOA. Many people accuse the SPOA of getting too involved with City Council matters.
The letter claimed that the results of the last general election were tough pills to swallow for some, and that was the reason for the recall. Gilliams said that the names of people and their affiliations with the group would be revealed.
“Intimidation and threats will be taken seriously. If everybody read Gilliams’ paper that he put in the back of the room, the last two paragraphs [are] basically threatening. Threatening that he’s going to bring something to us for trying to do the right thing for our city. That’s unacceptable … We are a peaceful group and want to do what’s right for the city, the right way,” Nunn said at the meeting.
A couple of Sebastian Citizens who also spoke at the meeting accuse Councilman Jim Hill of organizing the group to recall Gilliams and Parris. The group’s founder denied it. Tracey Cole said she never spoke or met Hill until the councilman showed up and introduced himself during last Saturday’s protest.
We also reached out to Hill for comment.
“I think this group of citizens is doing a great job of pursuing their rights and standing up for what they feel is right. The citizens of Sebastian have been woken by the destruction of apathy and its results. I wish I could claim to be apart of this movement and fully support them in their efforts. However, this is a truly organic uprising of individuals who love this city and want to make sure that one bad election doesn’t scar it for decades,” Hill told Sebastian Daily.
As for Gilliams and the alleged fake accounts, the group and the concerned Citizens told Sebastian Daily they just want to be left alone. They don’t want any help from Gilliams, and they want him to stop with all intimidation, bullying, and threats.
Also, for the record, a few staff members from Sebastian Daily have joined the Sebastian Voters Against Gilliams and Parris to monitor the group for news publishing purposes, as have other news sources.