Escambia Commission Censures Doug Underhill For Threats Against County Attorney

September 3, 2021

The Escambia County Commission voted Thursday night to formally censure Commissioner Doug Underhill for his alleged conduct and threats against County Attorney Alison Rogers.

The vote was 4-1, with Underhill against the action. A censure is an official statement of disapproval, condemning a person for misconduct.

The county attorney and the county administrator are the only two employees in the county that work directly for the commission as a whole.

“You are my employer and I have been very lucky for many years to have never felt the need to come to you with an employment problem or complaint. I have certainly had my share of very challenging conversations with my bosses, some of them more challenging than others, but I have never felt the need to come to you with a complaint,” Rogers said after distributing a written letter to the board.

“However, unfortunately, last week, I was threatened in a manner by Commissioner Underhill, which you as (my) employer need to be made aware of. On two occasions, I was threatened that he is going to ‘bash my reputation until the day I resign.’ And he has clearly exhibited the ability to do that and carry it out. The most heartbreaking thing about this is that he’s mad at me for doing my job. He’s mad at me for requesting an advisory opinion from the Commission on Ethics, which is part of my job. I’ve even gotten one for him before. We only made the trip to Tallahassee at the specific request of the executive director and assistant general council to the Commission on Ethics in part because the question was more complex than normal.

“I can assure you, I far would have preferred to have been here, getting my work done,” Rogers said, her voice audibly breaking with emotion.

“If it had been any of the rest of the four of you who had asked me to get an advisory opinion, I would have done the same including from Mr. Underhill. This is not the way an employer should treat their employee and I feel it is egregious I want it memorialized,” Rogers said, asking the commission not to take any specific action other than to place her letter into the minutes of the meeting.

Underhill strongly denied the claims made by Rogers.

“I will say that categorically the words quoted here did not ever escape my lips, nor did they do it twice,” Underhill said. “I did say that it is that the attorney’s conduct has brought shame on this board. And I did state that I think that by the time all of this is said and done, it will be very surprising if you do not escape consequences for those things. That is well within my duties and my responsibilities for the oversight of one of the two full time employees that we have as commissioners.”

“The verbiage is changed a little bit. When I said she states here knows that I have the votes to retain remain my position what I actually said was, you know, you obviously, you are very safe in your position because the displeasure that I have with the attorney for her actions is not something that is mutually agreed upon by this board.”

“Certainly Madam Attorney nothing that I said, was intended to be a threat. Nothing that I was intended to be anything other than my oversight of your job, which is my duty.” Underhill continued. “Certainly there was nothing about bashing a reputation and there was nothing about bashing your reputation. Until the day I resigned, obviously you and I are going to disagree about that. But you know, that is simply the facts as I know them today.”

“I just want to say as another one of Madam Counsel’s employers, the quotes attributed to the colleague are very concerning. I mean, it’s a very concerning…any of us would talk that way to any of our employees. So that’s concerning,” Commissioner Steven Barry said.

“Madam Attorney, not one of us individually has the right to treat you that way,” Commissioner Jeff Bergosh said. “If it was me, if it was any one of us in particular that said anything like that to you, I would simply say…you should have showed that individual the door. This board is your employer and not individual members of the board. If Doug said this to you, he’s way out of bounds by doing it.”

“Doug, I mean, are you saying you didn’t threaten to wreck her reputation until she resigned? Is that what you are saying here?”

“I’m absolutely saying that. Yes, commissioner,” Underhill replied.

Bergosh replied, “you’re saying she put this in writing and lied?”

“Yes, commissioner, that’s what I’m saying” Underhill replied.

“I don’t believe you. I don’t believe you,” Bergosh responded. “I believe her. ”

“You don’t have the right to say anything to her. This board is her boss, not you. You don’t have that right,” Bergosh said. “It’s so upsetting me along with a lot of other crap I’m seeing online from you, I think it’s about time this board took some action. You run us down constantly. Your help from the office runs us down constantly. You are a source of consternation on this board that is unnecessary. And I’m just about fed up with it.”


37 Responses to “Escambia Commission Censures Doug Underhill For Threats Against County Attorney”

  1. Kenneth on September 7th, 2021 4:35 pm

    Underhill like several other commissioners has let their position go to their head. They think laws are made for everyday people they look for any and every way to feed their well being via gifts and gratuities. They all need to be run out of town on a rail; Back in the late 70’s there was a tire salesman that sold tires to one of the county commissioners in Muskogee County Oklahoma. When he made his periodic visit he was told they did not need tires at that time.. He got mad and walked up stairs to the District Attorneys office and complained that he had been paying the commissioner kickbacks for years and he hadn’t purchased any tires from him in over a year.. The District Attorney suggested h e go across the street to t he Federal Courthouse and see the U.S.. Attorney for the Eastern District of OKLA. Mr Edmonson initiated an investigation which resulted in every single county commissioner being taken to trial and convicted for taking illegal kickbacks. They thought they were above the law. I would suggest Mr. Underhill mind his P’s and Q’s and understand he is subject to the same laws you and I are governed by. The only difference between him and ordinary Joe on the street is his job title: County Commissioner.

  2. Glad and Saddened to be watching from afar.... on September 7th, 2021 12:12 pm

    I have never commented on any article, but I must stand up for a person of ethics and Alison is that type of person. The last thing she would want is to draw attention to herself. She understands her role, unlike any Co Attny in the past. She is only there to serve the Board. Doug is a bully and he takes advantage of the people that will NOT stoop to his level. It was exciting to see him come into office and it is so very sad to see the person he has become.

    He like so many others before him have become their own worst enemy.

    The ugliness needs to stop!
    We are tearing ourselves apart and not accomplishing anything by acting this way.

  3. Susie on September 5th, 2021 7:51 pm

    This County shouldn’t even have County Commissioners from past experience, which has been a long line of pure foolishness and corruption. These guys are embarrassing.

  4. Citizen on September 5th, 2021 4:10 am

    He did the same to Weavor and Lavoy. It’s a pattern..That’s why we believe the attorney plus he wrote about the same thing on Facebook several times. He defames and intimidates and has spread his poison to others that seem to like his type of destructive behaviors. Bergosh is the bravest commissioner on the board.

  5. Steve on September 5th, 2021 3:02 am

    our local government is starting to look like the local government in San Francisco . Is our local jail cooperating with ICE ? Stop the woke crowd in the next elections or we will be lost .

  6. Mike on September 4th, 2021 7:16 pm

    This is Underhill’s entire modus operandi. He threatens people either physically, financially, with their careers, or socially – and then he lies about it. I have little doubt he’s going to continue to bash her online and to people privately, even with this act against him. He does it to everyone he deems a threat or political opposition. We’ve seen it so many times in the past. He genuinely lacks integrity. I’ve even heard the Navy had him on a review board for his dishonesty. It’s shameful they haven’t kicked him out.

  7. Andy on September 4th, 2021 6:13 pm

    He’s a miserable person and a pathetic representative of his district and if the military. People have to quit voting for someone solely because they’re from the military. Every group, including our service ranks, has both good and bad. He is bad to the core and needs to reassess his attitude, ethics, and ego. Not only do I look forward to him being out of office but I also look forward to the day when he is no longer a resident of this county. We deserve better and I hope our constituents make better ballot box decisions in the future.

  8. Melissa Pino on September 4th, 2021 2:10 pm

    The notion that Doug harassing management, staff, the Administrator and Attorney, or anybody else unlucky enough to cross his path that day is new to anyone is absurd. Doug was harassing people on the Fourth Floor before he was even sworn in to office. His verbal abuse and coercion are legendary, and he has even physically threatened–repeatedly–female staff. I only wish that this would have been done a few years earlier. We might have retained some really amazing people who fled the County as a direct result of not wanting to suffer his abuses any longer.

    I did not agree with a PAC putting out the information about Doug’s restraining order last election, because I felt it would be pointless and offer him an opportunity to self-victimize again. Nonetheless, he has a track record–emphasis on record–of abuse. And he has a violent, explosive temper. His lack of impulse control needs to be taken seriously. Commissioner Bergosh is right–he ought to just resign; he doesn’t even attend agenda reviews any more. Remove him from the regular meetings, as well, and watch how quickly a large part of the dysfunction at the County sorts itself out. A man with his destructive bent should not be in a position of policy maker. Six years has been long enough for any community to have to suffer this type of behavior.

    Interesting, per your comment about his insurance claim, add that to the past FEMA games he has run on that house. In addition, he has illegally cobbled onto it with major off-permit renovations, not only while he has been an elected official, but when he had his contracting license. That he has the audacity to post videos of the inside of the house that reveal these improvements along with major code violations is one more demonstration that he honestly believes himself to be above the law. His ethics determination this coming week by no means addresses all of his unethical and unlawful behavior. But it will be a healthy start.

  9. David Huie Green on September 4th, 2021 1:24 pm

    “So, the ECC allowed a “He said, She said” game to be played out in public AND took sides on it? Pathetic!”

    No, actually reasonable.

    They are not working in a vacuum with no knowledge of the character of either him or her. From past experience, they know what each is like. Their knowledge led them to STRONGLY favor her truthfulness over his.

    David for better people — and believing them

  10. James on September 4th, 2021 11:34 am

    Everyone of the commissioners need to be voted out!! I hope people remember this at election time..

  11. bob c on September 4th, 2021 7:47 am

    Underhill has UNDERMINED the people of Warrington with his empty promises and his limp actions to improve things on Navy Blvd.
    We have many empty businesses on Barrancas Blvd and a huge desert spot at Navy Blvd and Barrancas intersection where so much was promised and nothing done but the pop-up auto sales people.
    Bet he has a bronze statue of himself in a shrine at home.
    Never a fan of this individual….UGH.

  12. Interesting on September 3rd, 2021 10:12 pm

    Underhill is a tool. Do a Google search for Florida Civil Remedy Notices and search for his name as the insured. He filed a $700,000+ insurance claim on his 2,600 sq ft house and is suing his insurance company. He should be investigated for insurance fraud.

  13. Beulah Resident on September 3rd, 2021 6:54 pm

    Bergosh is the worst. He’s a two faced liar. Never voted for him and I never will. So sad he’s a neighbor. He makes me sick.

  14. lyjugo on September 3rd, 2021 6:31 pm

    mr underhill promised the residents of warrington that he was going to clean up the area, get rid of old houses, bring in some new businesses (since alot of them have left since he was elected the first time) and he has NOT done it. i voted for him the first time but not the second time. i wish he would do what he says he will do, but i guess he only has time for the navy’s concerns.

  15. vote them all out on September 3rd, 2021 2:27 pm

    they are ALL elected “officials” and WE have the power to make them all go away. Vote them AND the school board out. The school board gave us an “appointed” superintendent………………..

  16. NPC on September 3rd, 2021 12:21 pm

    Without the specifics such as names and location this could be Century.

  17. Right vs. Left on September 3rd, 2021 12:16 pm

    He’s to conservative for the rest on the progressives on the board

  18. Dave Thomas on September 3rd, 2021 11:23 am

    I agree with the feelings of most who have commented. He needs to be replaced!

  19. Denny on September 3rd, 2021 10:45 am

    There’s a reason I’ve always referred to him as Doug “Mouth” Underhill. Probably why he didn’t make CAPT while in the Navy.

  20. Dave on September 3rd, 2021 10:12 am

    @ Sueb
    “Good Ole Boy crooked syndrome.”???
    We need them for “Good Ole Citizen crooked syndrome!
    All included.
    Cast the 1st stone and..that’s what they are presiding over…

  21. John Doe on September 3rd, 2021 10:02 am

    Is this *censure* merely for show? Does it carry any implications or weight or is it just ceremonial?

  22. Andrew Carlson on September 3rd, 2021 9:58 am

    He’s lying…

  23. SueB on September 3rd, 2021 8:46 am

    The entire County Commissioners need to be censured for promises made during their campaign and then were voted in and became the Good Ole Boy crooked syndrome.

  24. Randy Cudd on September 3rd, 2021 8:00 am

    Well this is long over due.
    Anyone that has followed Underhills antics understands this.
    Ms. Roger’s is very competent and professional attorney. I have known her for years. She would never lie about something like this.
    Underhill on the other hand is one of the worst examples of a narcissistic person that I have ever seen. I have been amazed that the Navy has kept him.
    I am glad that the Commission finaly manned up and took action against this bully.

  25. NobodyInParticular on September 3rd, 2021 7:37 am

    Well, the community ain’t happy with them as a whole, so I think it’s only fitting that somebody runs em all down. Their fraud, waste, and abuse has been out of hand for years

  26. farm-hill on September 3rd, 2021 7:22 am

    Here is a truthful proverb. “Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.” In this situation, the ones who have the authority to “cast out “, are the voters in Mr. Underhill’s district. I am sorry I voted for Underhill the last election cycle. Lesson learned. I will not make that mistake again.

  27. Bill on September 3rd, 2021 7:18 am

    The entire commission knows Underhill is not only unprofessional but a straight up nasty human being.

  28. tom on September 3rd, 2021 7:06 am

    what a circus we have down there. seems that bunch is a train wreck and a joke. time to clean house and get rid of all of them.

  29. Ashamed on September 3rd, 2021 7:06 am

    So, the ECC allowed a “He said, She said” game to be played out in public AND took sides on it? Pathetic! They all need to go next election. Time to elect adults and get rid of these children.

  30. Walter Beall on September 3rd, 2021 7:05 am

    Hmmm, maybe people would believe Underhill if he didn’t already have a well-documented history of roasting county employees on Facebook until they got fed up and quit….

    ..or if he weren’t up to his ears in legal bills from getting sued for smearing people on Facebook…

    or if he weren’t about to get handed an ethics violation from the state for smearing people on Facebook without disclosing all of his Facebook communications to the people he was smearing….

    maybe if all of that weren’t true, then people would believe Ms. Rogers was making up her story about him threatening to smear her on Facebook until she resigned.

  31. Steve on September 3rd, 2021 6:56 am

    Underhill is the only one with any common sense, that is why this is a thing. Bunch of crybaby’s

  32. Elaine on September 3rd, 2021 6:12 am

    I believe Underhill. Having been to a meeting in the past and watching these people in action, I can tell you from my perspective that Bergosh and his cronies are snakes and Bergosh himself is a very hostile person. I wanted to throw up in disgust when I heard him speak. It is clear by his motives and votes that money is his god. Underhill was the only one at that meeting that listened to residents, treated us with respect, and cared about our concerns.

  33. Home Town on September 3rd, 2021 6:01 am


    “I don’t believe you. I don’t believe you,” Bergosh responded. “I believe her.”

    We do, too.

  34. mnon on September 3rd, 2021 5:44 am

    Sounds like the same ole political back and forth… just a different coat of paint.

  35. Bama on September 3rd, 2021 4:27 am

    Two words, TERM LIMITS.
    This entire board is rotten to the core. Constant bickering and back stabbing. We need to get rid of them all and start over, after imposing term limits.
    Another thing we need to do is go back to electing the school superintendent.

  36. Dewayne on September 3rd, 2021 3:51 am

    This person has been nothing but a distraction for the good of all from day 1.
    Time to get terminated…we dont have to wait until voting time to do it either.

  37. Fly on the Wall on September 3rd, 2021 2:14 am

    Finally. Good for the board. Underhill is a bully and he is the problem behind the consternation and turmoil the board of commissioners and has had for years. He takes to his facebook groups and lies about other commissioners and constituents. The admin there kicks off dissenting voices. He set up a cohort employee to sue a citizen. The PNJ publishes his twisted way of looking at things. I am so glad the county attorney finally had enough and Commissioner Bergosh finally took action. I hear Underhill is having to go in front of the Board of Ethics in Tallahassee next week. He should step down or be removed, but of course with his twisted mind it will be everyone else’s fault and his dim wits will take up for him.
    He is toxic and so are his handful of minions. Karma.

    Go Bergosh!! and the rest of the board.

    We’ve had enough also.