Assistant State Attorney Wesley White declines to accept reappointment

Chief Hurley, Angela Corey, and Wesley White
while attending an awards dinner for the Fernandina Beach Police Department

Submitted by
Susan Hardee Steger

Assistant State Attorney Wesley White in a December 7  letter to  State Attorney Angela Corey’s Office, formally declined to accept reappointment for  Corey’s upcoming second term. Four years ago, White began as Assistant State Attorney and Director of the Nassau County Office and accepted Corey’s appointment “in order to serve and advance the interests of the good people of Nassau County.”

In his letter, White reminded Corey that “you and your administration will be judged more by the promises you keep than our victories or defeats.” He further stated, “Throughout your term in office, you pledged that Nassau County would not be looked upon as an ‘unwanted stepchild.’ Notwithstanding the fact that Nassau County is home to many qualified attorney and Nassau County merits its own director, you have unfortunately retreated from that commitment.”

Jackelyn Barnard, Director of Communications for Corey’s office responded to Fernandina Observer‘s request for information with the following:

“As part of an ongoing reorganization to enhance the operation of the State Attorney’s Office, staff changes have been made in the Duval, Nassau, and Clay County offices. These changes began more than a month ago. The changes included the transfer of Division Chief Donna Thurson to the Nassau office. The next planned move was the assignment of Sr. Division Chief Stephen Siegel to manage the Nassau County office. Steve and Donna combined have nearly 40 years of prosecutorial experience. Mr. White was offered a position in the Duval Office – he declined.  Due to White’s resignation, Siegel will start earlier than planned in the Nassau County office — Monday, December 10th.” (White’s letter  firmly states that his departure is not a resignation,  but a decision to decline a reappointment.  Unused vacation will be used so that his tenure as Assistant State Attorney will expire at the end of Corey’s first term.)

According to Barnard, “These changes demonstrate Ms. Corey’s continued commitment to the citizens of Nassau County and our law enforcement partners there. As most of you are aware, Ms. Corey is a member of Sheriff-Elect Bill Leeper’s transition team and continues to work closely with Fernandina Beach Police Chief James Hurley.”

In White’s closing remarks he wished to thank “the many fine men and women who have been my colleagues, and pay my compliments and respect to the Bench, the Office of the Public Defender, and members of the defense bar, and to the people of Clay, Duval, and Nassau Counties. Last but not least, I have been humbled and honored to work alongside our law enforcement community – they have my deepest admiration and gratitude.”

White’s family is well connected to Nassau County.  His great-grandfather, A. H. Anderson was  city manager of Fernandina Beach during the late 30’s and helped to attract two pulp and paper mills, Rayonier and what is now Rock Ten to the area.

December 10, 2012  6:55 p.m.