Melinda Power entered Jaguar Power Sports accompanied by her supervisor and cited the business for flying military flags on top of their building in Jacksonville, Florida.
The city has no ordinance against flying flags from the roof. A veteran who was in the shop at the time was upset by the citation and the inspector got in his face and asked what he had ever done for his country. When he explained that he had taken three bullets in his leg and almost lost it, the inspector told him he had done nothing for his country.
Both she and her supervisor are now on suspension.
“[Power] says, ‘What did you do for this country?’ He says, ‘I took three bullets to the leg. I almost lost my life for this country. I’m retired. I’m a veteran,'” store employee Katie Klasse told the station. “She gets in his face this close and says, ‘You did nothing for this country.'”
Employees said Power was so disruptive and disrespectful to the veteran that they asked her to leave, WJAX reported.
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry on Tuesday morning said Power and her supervisor “have been placed on leave” pending the outcome of a review, WJAX reported.
“What I saw reported is 100 percent inconsistent with how I expect every city employee to interact with our citizens,” Curry also said, the station reported.
He added, “As the son and grandson of military veterans, and the mayor of a city with a proud history of commitment to our nation’s defense, I will not tolerate disparagement or disrespect of the men and women who serve or served. On behalf of the City of Jacksonville, I apologize to veterans and service members who are rightly troubled by the events that have been reported,” WJAX said.
Curry also explained that “current ordinance does not address residents or businesses displaying military flags,” but he “will not allow any citation of those who demonstrate their support for the armed forces. My team is working with the city’s Office of General Counsel to bring clarity to the relevant city laws,” the station reported.