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Bronson mayor refuses to resign

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By The Staff

Clarification

A Nov. 19 Citizen story that said Bronson Mayor Franklin Schuler resigned from his job as a Levy County  Sheriff’s corrections officer I, a position he held for 19 years, as a result of a reprimand, should have said Schuler resigned after he received the reprimand because Schuler said he felt the sheriff could not be trusted to back him.

The same story said Bronson Town Attorney Steven Warm billed the town for $1,387.50 for legal services rendered to Schuler for the sheriff’s review of Schuler’s behavior and preparation of a defamation suit. Warm addressed the bill to “Mr. Franklin Schuler, Town of Bronson, P.O. Office Box 266, Bronson, FL 32621,” the town’s address which Schuler uses to receive mail. The town council paid the bill.

Story:

Bronson resident C.W. Gilbert wants the mayor to resign. And he's not giving up at making the request just once.

During the  Town Council's November’s meeting, Gilbert said Mayor Franklin Schuler's actions in public have been inappropriate and that he needed to step down. Schuler refused.

Gilbert has asked to be on the agenda for the meeting on Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. to speak on the same topic.

Gilbert based his request on an incident at the Bark-N-Purr event earlier this year where three volunteers — two juveniles and an adult — complained Schuler was rude and cursed them. They filed their complaint with the Levy County Sheriff's Office where Schuler was employed as a correctional officer.

    Gilbert also accused the mayor of exhibiting similar behavior at a  Bronson High School football game, which Schuler denied.

    Schuler has denied cursing the volunteers at the fund-raiser, but the Sheriff's Office review said the complaint was substantiated. He was reprimanded for violating the department's professional standards code. The review also ruled as unfounded the complaint that Schuler was intoxicated at the time. Schuler said he resigned from  his job as a corrections officer I — a position he held for 19 years — after being reprimand because he felt he could not trust the sheriff and his supervisors to back him..

    “And then you have the town pay for your attorney,” Gilbert said.

    Bronson Town Attorney Steven Warm sent the bill for $1,387.50 for legal services rendered to Schuler at the "Town of Bronson" office. The council approved paying the bill, which Warm said had been cut in half, during its October meeting.

    Warm was Schuler's legal adviser for the Sheriff's Office internal review and work done on a defamation suit Schuler has filed against the adult volunteer, Mark Cox of Bronson.

    “I am not stepping down,” Schuler said. He also said he did not know what football game Gilbert was referring to.

Gilbert told Schuler that he would continue to pursue his resignation as mayor.

    “I’ve done this before,” Gilbert said. “And this is just the beginning.”

    Schuler has filed suit in Levy County Civil Court seeking “in excess of $15,000” from Cox saying the statements about Schuler's behavior were untrue and that he “did not use obscenities.” Schuler's suit says he was “never rude or presumptuous nor officious.”

    The suit says Schuler “had every right to be present at the location and to park temporarily where he chose as mayor” of Bronson. Schuler has said he was at the fund-raising event at the city park to check on city employees who were there to help if needed.

    Calling the three complaints “malicious” Schuler's suit says he was “the subject of departmental hearings and discipline, wrongly, unnecessarily and to his detriment” and ther his “name, fame and reputation were sorely and wrongly impeached and his community standing compromised.” The suit goes on to say Schuler has been affected “in his social relations and his public life” and he is seeking a jury trial.

    Cox, an unemployed single father, filed a response saying the incident was found to be substantiated by the Sheriff's Office. He has said because of his financial situation he cannot afford a lawyer and is representing himself.

    In an interview with the Citizen, Schuler said he did not tell Cox or the juveniles he was the mayor when he parked his vehicle in a no parking zone at the concert and refused to move it. He said he told them he would park wherever he wanted. He also said he would handle the situation the same way if it arose again and would not identify himself as the mayor.

    Schuler  had originally said he would include the parents of the juveniles and Levy Sheriff's Deputy Frank McKoy in the suit. McKoy was the deputy on duty contacted by Cox after Schuler parked in the no parking area.