Multiple sources have told the Gateway Sun that Stoneybrook HOA President George Flaherty recently pressured the community’s security contractor to fire the beloved security guard known as “Big Willie”, who had been patrolling Stoneybrook for years. As a result, Big Willie no longer works in that community.

That much we know for sure.

From there, two “sides of the story” have emerged. We will share both sides, but please note that people aren’t speaking “on the record” about this, which is often the case when someone’s employment status is involved.

You can believe which ever side of the story you prefer.

One version of the events is that George Flaherty’s wife, Kathleen Flaherty, asked Big Willie for a small favor that may have amounted to special treatment (and possibly a slight bending of the rules).

When Big Willie refused, Kathleen Flaherty – who was elected to Gateway’s Board of Supervisors in November 2016 – reported Big Willie’s refusal to accommodate her to her husband.

George Flaherty decided at that point to have Big Willie fired from his job – or at minimum, ousted from the community.

We have been told that George Flaherty began documenting every mistake, no matter how small, made by Big Willie in an effort to build a case to have Big Willie lose his employment. According to a source, George Flaherty even followed Big Willie around the community for the purpose of documenting any errors made by the security guard.

Specifically, we were told, Flaherty was critical of Big Willie’s not writing enough violation notices against Stoneybrook residents.

Once George Flaherty had what he felt was enough of a case, he presented it to the security company for them to take action against Big Willie.

The security company, knowing that George Flaherty’s actions and requests were completely asinine, would not agree to fire Big Willie but instead offered him a post at one of their other communities.

So that’s one version. And I have to stress again that nobody is making official statements or saying anything on the record here. So I have no choice but to say that everything in the first version of the events (and the second version for that matter) can only be considered “rumor” until someone steps up and puts their name on it.

The other version much simpler: that Big Willie asked for the transfer all on his own. Nothing to see here.

In fact, nothing even happened involving the Flaherties at all. And George Flaherty certainly didn’t try to get Big Willie fired.

(Please note that George Flaherty is likely the source of this second “George Flaherty didn’t do anything wrong” version of events.)

Regardless of which version of the events is closer to the truth, Stoneybrook residents took to social media to share news of Big Willie’s departure from Stoneybrook.

Residents said they were “heartbroken” and “crushed”.

“Oh no. So sad. He was really a nice and police man,” wrote Ann A.

“He was wonderful with the teenagers here, and was just all around an amazing person,” said Alicia R., adding, “My heart breaks for their family! He truly loved SB and the residents.”

Big Willie was “super nice” said Sharad R.

Jennifer E. stated “He was great with the kids and very personable … :(( ..”

While Amber D. wrote: “My kids really liked him as well! Sad to see him gone.”

Alicia R. also said that Big Willie told a family friend that he was fired, not transferred.

“When they asked why, he said that the SB president doesn’t like him.” said Alicia R.

Again, this is exactly what we’ve heard as well. The whole notion that Big Willie requested a transfer to another community on his own seems implausible. So if you hear that story being told in the community, keep in mind that it could be George Flaherty himself who created that narrative.


I mean, what more can I say?

All of this could have been avoided.

If you live in Stoneybrook, you need to take two minutes and fill out your proxies for the HOA board elections each and every spring.

Do you know that in the April 2017 election (which saw George Flaherty join the board) only about 30% of the residents voted?

There’ll be another election in 2018. Take the two minutes to improve your community, and fill out your proxy.

And in regards to the picture that accompanies this article, yes we know it isn’t George.

As a policy, the Gateway Sun does not publish photos of George Flaherty.

Editor of the Gateway Sun and owner of restaurant delivery service Florida Food Runner.

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