CREATED Aug. 5, 2013
FORT MYERS, Fla.- The war of words between the Lee County Sheriff and the local President of the NAACP is taking a new twist tonight. It all started when Sheriff Mike Scott sent a letter to the NAACP last month saying he would not be contributing to the organization's annual fundraising banquet.
In the latest email between NAACP President James Muwakkil and Sheriff Mike Scott, Muwakkil says he's asking the United States Department of Justice Community Relations Service to intervene in their disagreement. Fox 4 got the sheriff's reaction by telephone on Monday.
"...and it said they've asked the federal government to come in and mediate and intervene and I practically fell off my chair. What are you talking about? Mediate, intervene...the federal government can't handle its own business much less our business here," said Sheriff Mike Scott.
Scott emailed back saying he sees this as a local issue and the suggestion the federal government is going to intervene and mediate is laughable.
"I wrote back and said look this is not a game. I'm not playing games with you. We agree to disagree," said Scott.
The two have been back and forth ever since the NAACP focused its attention on the George Zimmerman verdict. Sheriff Scott argued the NAACP needs to focus more on the local community and the violence involving young black men. The NAACP is also calling for the removal of a portrait in the county commissioners' chambers of Confederate Army General Robert E. Lee.
"It's ridiculous. Really, going to take down Robert E. Lee all over Lee County? What are we going to do...rechange the name of the sheriff's office? It's totally preposterous," said Scott.
Scott says he has no real dispute with the NAACP and this will be his final correspondence on the matter.