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DeBary Mayor: “Put A Stop To This Witch Hunt”

DeBary Mayor Clint Johnson at city council meeting May 4th

A public meeting next week to discuss ousting DeBary mayor Clint Johnson will go ahead.  At a court hearing today a judge turned down an injunction to stop the meeting.

Debary is suing Mayor Clint Johnson over unfilled public records requests and the city alleges he violated the charter by giving orders to a city employee.

Johnson calls the allegations baseless.

“I would hope that the city council has more respect for the will of the thousands of voters that put me into office, that they wouldn’t try to sidestep the will of the voters with a minor, baseless technicality,” said Johnson after the court appearance.

Johnson says city leadership has more important things to focus on, like allegations that the city manager violated Florida’s sunshine law.

FDLE officers carried out a search warrant at city hall yesterday looking for emails between city manager Dan Parrott and city council members, about a controversial land development plan.

Johnson points out he was the only member of the city council who wasn’t named in the search warrant.

“There’s pretty serious stuff in the city right now, and that’s what we need to be focusing on as a body of leaders and that’s what I would hope they would join me in moving forward and put a stop to this, for lack of a better term, witch hunt,” said Johnson.

Parrott said he’s consulted the city attorney and doesn’t think he violated Florida’s sunshine law by sending emails.

“I’m not someone to blame someone else for my actions,” said Parrott.

“I’m responsible for my own actions, and I’ll stand up for what I did. We’re going to cooperate fully, and I still don’t believe I violated the Sunshine law in this respect.”

Parrott said officers were looking for emails about plans to develop a 102 acre piece of land around the city’s SunRail station.

“You know it’s a fairly ripe political issue,” said Parrott.

“I mean it’s a really political issue right now, and allegations are made and I think they should be examined.”

The city’s IT Director and Records Manager Eric Frankton said officers spent about 5 hours yesterday copying 37,480 emails onto thumb drives. That’s every email between Parrott and council members Lita Handy Peters, Mike Brady, Chris Carson and Rick Dwyer from April 15th 2015 up until Wednesday this week.

 

 


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Matthew Peddie

About Matthew Peddie

Host of WMFE's Intersection & Assistant News Director

A recent transplant to the Sunshine State, Matthew Peddie grew up in New Zealand and studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating with an MA in Journalism he returned to Christchurch, working as a reporter for Radio Live and Radio New Zealand. He’s reported live from the scene of ... Read Full Bio »

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