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Councilman Rick Williams responds after video surfaces of him appearing to sleep during Monday's mask mandate meeting

Posted at 12:16 AM, Jul 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-09 00:16:50-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — A concerned citizen sent this video of Councilman Rick Williams to Fox 4. It shows Councilman Williams covering his face and eyes with a mask.

Upset by the images Jay LaGace of Cape Coral, sent an email to city leaders. He says he was stunned by a response from Councilman Williams.

“I got the email this morning and basically it was a very threatening email, said that he was going to make sure there was negative posts made about me on my real estate blog and my real estate website,” said Jay LaGace.

LaGace then informed city council leaders, who responded quickly. He has also posted the whole ordeal on Facebook. Now, there's a petition by the Northwest Cape Coral Foundation asking for Councilman Williams' resignation.

In a statement the foundation president John Jacobs tells us " For the complete disregard Mr. Williams has demonstrated to the residents of the Northwest Cape, we have developed a petition website requesting that he steps down voluntarily as a Cape Councilman.” said John Jacobs.

We also reached out to Cape Coral city leaders, including Mayor Joe Coviello.

He told us in a statement, “I expect council members to act in a professional and responsible manner, It’s extremely concerning for a member of council to act with such disregard and disrespect towards the people he represents. It’s now up to Councilmember Williams to explain his action to the Mayor, fellow councilmember’s and his constituents” said Mayor Coviello.

Councilwoman Jennifer Nelson also tells us, “Council member Williams’ behavior will be an agenda item on our meeting scheduled for 7/20. Many of us are very concerned about him.” said Councilwoman Nelson.

Lagace says he simply wants change.

“You know is he really the right guy for the job? Should he remain there for the next 2 years until his term is up? I don’t think so, I think we need somebody else appointed and somebody else to take over that’s going to pay attention” said LaGace.

Councilman Williams has also responded to the allegations,

“I would like to address the video that circulated following Monday night’s City Council meeting. In the video, it appears that I am sleeping. This was not the case. My eyes were suddenly burning and tearing from something in the room. As I listened to Council’s comments, I leaned back in my chair and pulled my mask over my eyes to protect them. I did not consider how this may have looked to those in attendance, which was a mistake. I apologize to my fellow Council members, those in attendance, and the community for my actions. I also want to apologize to Jay LaGace for an email response that I sent reacting to his social media post earlier that day. My comments in that email were out of line. I’d like to reaffirm my continuing commitment to representing all our Cape Coral residents in a professional and respectful manner.” said Councilman Rick Williams.