thursday - january 29, 1959


The Board of County Commissioners met in called session in the County Commissioners’ room in the Courthouse at Tavares on Thursday, January 29, 1959, at 1:30 p.m. for the purpose of hearing the Attorney General’s Report on the purchase of land in Minneola for a County barn site and such other matters as may be brought before the Board, with the following present:  Chairman Simpson; Commissioners Theus, Cowart, and Cross; Attorney Duncan; and Clerk Owens.

The Board was called to order by Chairman Simpson.

Clerk Owens announced that Commr. Hooten had received notice of the meeting.  Commr. Hooten was absent from the meeting.

Clerk Owens presented the Plat of Lake Susan Home Sites, which had been held up for some time awaiting an opinion of title.  The opinion of Attorney Cork that the title is merchantable and a letter from the Lake County Health Department were presented to the Board at this time.  Mr. Duncan stated he sees no reason why the plat is not in line to be approved; WHEREUPON, on a motion by Commr. Cowart, seconded by Commr. Theus and carried, the Plat of Lake Susan Home Sites was approved.

Commr. Simpson stated this special meeting was called upon the advice of Mr. Duncan, the Attorney, who stated he had received a letter from Tallahassee which should be presented to the Board, and he thought it important enough to have a special meeting.  Mr. Duncan then stated that at the request of the Board, he called upon the Attorney General’s office with reference to a problem facing this Board concerning the purchase of property in Minneola for a County barn site.  This letter is the response of the Attorney General.  Mr. Duncan then read the letter.  Mr. Duncan stated, “as I construe this letter, the Attorney General apparently is of the opinion that from the evidence and Auditor’s Report that we paid for more than we received.”

Mr. Duncan stated, “if suit is brought, I could hardly represent the Board, because I will have to be a witness in the case.  Will have to employ additional council if suit is brought.”  Commr. Simpson stated he thinks the Board should decide what is going to be done and what is best to do. The Board should secure adequate council to represent it, to associate with Mr. Duncan.  Commr. Cowart stated to start a civil suit would be the first steps to take.

Motion by Commr. Cowart, seconded by Commr. Cross that the Board proceed with a civil suit and that the Attorney for the Board recommend council to be associated with him.  On call vote by Districts, the Chairman relinquished the Chair, and Clerk Owens called for votes by Districts, which were as follows:

DISTRICT NO. 1 - yes

DISTRICT NO. 2 - yes

DISTRICT NO. 3 - absent

DISTRICT NO. 4 - yes

DISTRICT NO. 5 – yes

Unanimously carried with those present.

The Chairman asked if any other action besides the civil suit should be taken.  Commr. Cross stated there has been a lot of criticism about this matter and thinks this matter should be brought before the Grand Jury so that everything could be cleaned up and the public fully advised of the transaction.

Motion by Commr. Cross, seconded by Commr. Theus that this matter is to be taken before the Grand Jury and that a copy of the letter requesting the Grand Jury to investigate this matter be sent to the Hon. Gordon G. Oldham, Jr., State Attorney.  Carried unanimously with those present.

Mr. Duncan reported that he wrote the Attorney General and asked him about his status in selling to the County the office building belonging to Duncan and Hamlin.  The Attorney General responded by pointing out the statutes prohibiting certain officials from dealing with the County Commissioners.  Mr. Duncan read the letter from the Attorney General and stated he would take the recommendation of the Attorney General and have nothing to do with any transaction directly with the County Commissioners.  This matter was held in abeyance until the next regular meeting.

Clerk Owens reported that several years ago the County exchanged some property with Mr. Starr in order that all County-owned property would be on one side of the road, and now it is revealed that the property traded to Mr. Starr has been erroneously included in the resolution adopted on September 2, 1958 setting aside certain properties for park purposes.  Mr. Duncan stated it is proper at this time to adopt a resolution by which the County would delete from the resolution previously adopted all property not owned by the County at the time the resolution was adopted.  Mr. John May appeared before the Board in behalf of the parties owning the land erroneously included in the resolution and asked that a resolution be adopted amending the prior resolution as suggested by the Attorney, as his clients have a sale for the property; WHEREUPON, on a motion by Commr. Cross, seconded by Commr. Cowart and carried, the following resolution was adopted:

WHEREAS, on the 2nd day of September, 1958, the Board of County Commissioners of Lake County, Florida, did adopt a Resolution declaring certain lands owned by the County to be held for park purposes, and

WHEREAS, certain lands not then owned by Lake County were erroneously included in said Resolution, and

WHEREAS, said Resolution as it pertains to lands not owned by Lake County constitutes a cloud upon the title.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of County Commissioners of Lake County, Florida, that the Resolution adopted by said Board on the 2nd day of September, 1958, declaring certain lands to be held for park purposes be amended and is hereby amended by deleting from the descriptions appearing in said Resolution all lands included therein, the title to which was not owned or in which Lake County had no interest on the 2nd day of September, 1958.

On a motion by Commr. Theus, seconded by Commr. Cross and carried, the meeting adjourned.


/s/ Frank E. Owens                                                                 /s/ O. M. Simpson           

CLERK                                                                                   CHAIRMAN