Mark Franks: I feel Henry Kelley is using OCREC among other things to try to take attention away from the investigation and his boss.

In a Northwest Florida Daily News story published Thursday concerning a formal complaint filed by Destin resident Steve Menchel against Okaloosa County School District spokesman Henry Kelley, a reference in a text message outburst from Kelley to Menchel caught the attention of the Okaloosa County Republican Executive Committee.

Following is an excerpt from the Daily News story referencing Menchel's response to one of the 16 texts he received from Kelley:

Kelley also appeared to be warning Menchel that his Facebook posts are somehow negatively impacting the reputation of the Okaloosa County Republican Executive Committee, an organization Menchel had formerly served as an officer.

“Many people will watch your Facebook. OCREC has developed quite the reputation," Kelley texts at 1:24 p.m.

Menchel wonders in a later post “why out of the clear blue did you come at me today(?)” and states he is “puzzled by the OCREC comment.”

Following is a letter sent to the Daily News on Thursday from Mark Franks, Chairman of the Okaloosa County Republican Executive Committee, in response to that exchange between Menchel and Kelley.

Yes, the Okaloosa County Republican Executive Committee HAS developed quite the reputation. A reputation of continual growth, community outreach, securing qualified candidates for public office, increasing Republican registration and promoting the Republican Party by upholding liberty, equality and justice.

Mr. Menchel served on the OCREC board as secretary for many years and he always performed at a high level. He is a valuable member of the REC and we are fortunate to have him living and active in our community.

I feel Henry Kelley is using OCREC among other things to try to take attention away from the investigation and his boss: "He's (Kelley) just trying to put the attention on anything else."

OCREC meets every third Monday at 6 p.m. at Niceville City Hall. Please join us!

Mark Franks

Chairman, OCREC