Protesters grill Mayor Jacobs over text messages amid sick time fight



ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Protesters spent Tuesday morning grilling Mayor Teresa Jacobs at the Orange County Commission Chambers.

The protesters said they were upset because their sick time initiative is not going to be on the county's ballot in November, and there are questions surrounding emails sent to the mayor on the day the measure was voted down.

The advocates said Jacobs was lobbied to vote against the sick time initiative by text messages during a meeting earlier this month.

Jacobs' texts were released last week and it showed she was getting some input from people she called close friends.

Now, the protesters are demanding that the rest of the commissioner's text messages be released.

Jacobs fired back, saying that she is not anyone's puppet and that she made her decision because she did not believe it was good policy.

"I have not flip-flopped on this issue. I have not caved on this issue, and I am not a puppet for anybody. I believe this is bad public policy," said Jacobs.

Jacobs also scolded the fact that they wanted her personal texts.

"I think that the roughly 100 people who have texted me over the last year, including my mother and my children and my close friends expected privacy," Jacobs said.

Tuesday's commission meeting was not the first protesters have targeted Jacobs. After the sick time ordinance was rejected they tried to sue her.

A judge struck down the lawsuit because it should have been addressed to the county.

Aside from the text messages, commissioners were supposed to talk about earned sick time getting on future ballots. But county officials told WFTV they had to scrub the discussion because of the protesters' lawsuit.

The protesters are still demanding the rest of the commissioners to release their messages.

The commissioners could not discuss the sick time issue specifically because it's in litigation.