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Palm Bay: The Lannon Saga.

We want to talk a little (okay, it is going to be a lot) about the saga of former Palm Bay City Attorney Andrew Lannon. There are some things that we have spoken about, and there are some things of which you may not be aware. We also want to comment on some recent developments.

On April 12, 2018, Lannon sent an email to the City Council announcing his resignation. We covered that in this post. We also covered the reason for his leaving in another post.

As it happens, we had an meeting with the Mayor Capote the following day – Friday the 14th.

As many of you know, we had been fighting with Lannon and in some regards Councilman Holton over the disclosure of the existence of emails that we knew the City had not disclosed. (See here, here, and here for the background.)

We contend that if the City wants to redact or not disclose emails, they may do so under two conditions:

First, they must provide the statutory or case law allowing the non-disclosure. Secondly, they must disclose the existence of the emails. The City cannot say, as Lannon and Holton did, “we withheld emails. Period.” The reason for the disclosure is so the requesting party can seek to have the emails made produced if they do not meet the criteria of the law. A petition is made to a judge who reviews the the emails and then determines whether the disclosure exemption is valid. However, if the City doesn’t disclose the reason they are claiming the exemption or the number of emails affected, etc., that legal safeguard is illegally voided by the City’s actions.

In correspondence with Lannon, he refused to disclose emails as required under the law. It is our belief that Lannon and therefore the City was acting outside of the Florida Statutes.

At a November Council meeting at which Lannon was not present, after we discussed the situation in front of the City Council, no one on the Council seemed to care about the City’s legal violations. Well, that’s not entirely true. Councilman Bailey asked then Assistant City Attorney Smith whether we were correct.
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Palm Bay: The Lannon Resignation.

As we covered last Friday, Andrew Lannon, the Palm Bay City Attorney, has resigned.

There has been some speculation as to why Lannon resigned. Certainly he had made it clear that he was looking to obtain the position of the Brevard County Attorney after Scott Knox resigned, but that position was filled in house by Eden Bentley in a surprise move last Tuesday.

From what we know, the Lannon resignation had nothing to do with the County position being filled and Lannon not getting the job.

The City of Palm Bay recently received a demand letter and a lawsuit which name Lannon as a direct defendant. (A demand letter is sent prior to an actually lawsuit being filed.)

It is very rare for any attorney to be named in a lawsuit. That applies to both the public and private sectors. The common thing is to name the client as a defendant and not the client’s legal representation. Generally speaking, it is against legal laws and rules to file papers against people who are not or cannot be a party to the suit themselves. We bring this up because as the two suits named Lannon as well as the City of Palm Bay, the plaintiffs must have a good faith cause for naming Lannon in the actual suit. That is not a good thing.

With Lannon named as a defendant, the City sought outside counsel for legal advice on how to proceed.
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Palm Bay: City Attorney Lannon Resigns.

Andrew Lannon, the Attorney for the City of Palm Bay, has resigned.

More on this as it develops as there is a back story that we are trying to confirm.

But for now, Lannon is leaving.

UPDATE: The FloridaToday has an article on the resignation:

Palm Bay City Attorney Andrew Lannon resigning his post




Palm Bay: History, Please.

In response to the Councilman Santiago post which we discussed yesterday, a commenter in the Facebook thread made this statement:

We cannot support that sentiment.

To understand why, we have to go back to the founding of the country. When it came to taxes, the “battle cry” was “no taxation without representation” – not “no taxation without public vote.”

No one knows the exact origins of the “no taxation without representation,” but it seems to have come from the headline of and article from February 1768 London Magazine’s headline, on page 89, in its printing of Lord Camden’s “Speech on the Declaratory Bill of the Sovereignty of Great Britain over the Colonies.”

In the speech, Lord Camden says:
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Palm Bay: The Santiago Post.

Palm Bay City Councilman Harry Santiago made a post in a group which concerns the special assessment and the group that is going around collecting signatures to repeal the Charter Amendment that was passed last election.

Here’s the post:

We’d like to break this down a bit.
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Palm Bay: Company Does What Politicians Do Not.

How did we miss this?

Before the start of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, Little Caesar’s Pizza made a promise that if a a number 16 seed in a bracket beat a number 1 seed, the company would give a free pizza lunchtime combo to people. The combo consists of a four slice deep dish pizza and a 20 oz. drink and normally sells for five bucks.

The odds were heavily in favor of Little Caesar’s. After all, 16 seed were 0 – 132 against number 1 seeds in the history of the tournament.

That was before UMBC shocked number i seed Virginia on March 16th with a 74-54 victory.

Sure enough, Little Caesar’s lived up to the promise.

If you are from Palm Bay, you know that Little Caesar’s became somewhat “famous” beyond selling pizzas after what Councilman Trey Holton said in response to a proposed tax / assessment increase:
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Palm Bay: The Lannon Memo On Speech.

At the last Palm Bay City Council meeting, City Attorney Lannon said he would prepare a memo justifying the legality of the new City Council policy on submitting visual presentations two days prior to any Council meeting in order to be shown to the Council and the public.

To refresh the memory of some, the rule reads:

7.8.6 VISUAL PRESENTATIONS BY THE PUBLIC

A. Members of the public wishing to use electronic media when addressing city council must provide the electronic file to staff for screening no later than noon two (2) business days prior to the meeting. Screening ensures that the material is in a format capable of broadcast or presentation over the audiovisual system, and assures that the material is legally appropriate for broadcast over the audiovisual system and cable. No visual materials may be displayed through the audiovisual system that City staff has not screened. No visual presentations containing offensive material will be displayed or utilized in any fashion.

1. Visual materials include any visual or textual items that are to be displayed through the audiovisual system irrespective of their specific format or media. This includes, without limitation, photographs, audio and video presentations, charts, computer presentations, computer screen images, posters and flyers, whether in physical or electronic format.

2. Visual presentations during public comments are limited to times outlined above in this Section.

B. Visual materials do not include items held or worn by a speaker at the podium or worn by a member of the audience, even though such items may be televised through the cameras that view the audience and the dais.

The Lannon Memo has been prepared and sent out to the Council members. You can read a copy of the memo at the bottom of this post or by clicking here.

Before then, we want to address some of the things that are said in the memo itself.

First, Lannon goes over the history of the Florida Statute and cites the case Herrin v. City of Deltona from which Lannon quotes the decision and emphasizes a certain part of the text:
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Palm Bay: The Holton Clock Continues To Tick.

Last week, we made the offer to Concilman Calvin “Tres” Holton (Pizza! Pizza! (tm.)) to stop by here and talk about the issues that we have brought up during Council meetings.

Holton always makes a big show of telling people that he will be happy to sit down with them and talk. He has also made a big show of having what can be considered a “bullying presence” online where he has made what we would consider to be threats (although not direct threats.)
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