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Palm Bay: City Files To Dismiss Case Against Supervisor Of Elections.

This is somewhat interesting as at this time, people aren’t quite sure what it means. Is the City throwing in the towel on a lawsuit the City Attorney claimed would be an easy and inexpensive win? Is this the sign of mediation? A delaying tactic by the City?

Hopefully in the coming week at the City Council meeting, what is going on will come out.





5 Responses to “Palm Bay: City Files To Dismiss Case Against Supervisor Of Elections.”

  1. Johnny public says:

    Sounds like the city was either delaying enough to get next stormwater assesment in place OR the city atty is about as capable as the previous city atty., who designed the petition sheets… Either way the city has screwed the petioners so hardcore through this process, that I would think any future petitioners would be wise to have a lawyer on call through the process to avoid the obstruction and flat out sabotage the city perpetrated against this petition. This may not be all she wrote, the petitioners may have more knowledge about the city’s actions than the city knows, there may be more actions coming to rectify the city’s deceit; and of course the sabotage and threats by city employees and elected officials.

  2. Carla says:

    It’s funny how Ms. Smith, the City Attorney, made it sound like this case against the Supervisor of Elections was a slam dunk, but now is voluntarily dismissing it. Is that incompetence? Or “strategy”? Seems to me that the City should be on the hook for Ms. Scott’s legal fees.

    If you watched the June 6 Palm Bay Council Meeting, Ms. Smith admitted she was not prepared when Councilman Bailey asked her a question about the Stormwater Assessment fees.

    Also, if you remember when former Councilman Holton asked her a question on the dias, she refused to answer, claiming she worked for Andrew Lannon, not Council. Was she really that ignorant? Or was she covering up the fact that she didn’t know the answer to Holton’s question by choosing to be insubordinate instead?

    • AAfterwit says:

      Carla,

      Thanks for the comments.

      We’d like to address one thing that you said:

      Also, if you remember when former Councilman Holton asked her a question on the dias, she refused to answer, claiming she worked for Andrew Lannon, not Council. Was she really that ignorant? Or was she covering up the fact that she didn’t know the answer to Holton’s question by choosing to be insubordinate instead?

      Technically, at that time, she was right. The City Attorney works for the Council as one of the Charter officers, but as she was an assistant City Attorney, she worked for Lannon as her direct supervisor and not the Council.

      That being said, it is our opinion that Smith does what the Council wants and portrays that as a legal opinion.

      When we had questions about the City policies on public records requests, Smith said at the time from the dais that Lannon was handling the question on the issue that Bailey asked her. No one on the dais thought it was strange that a “board certified lawyer in government law” could not answer a basic question on the Sunshine laws.

      We have approached the City many times on speech issues, particularly the issue of prior restraint on public presentations. Smith has proclaimed that the policy is legal based on allowed “time, place and manner” allowed by the Supreme Court. She can never tell people how reviewing a presentation deals with time (when in the agenda presentation is made,) place (at the podium) and manner (the projector which is used by others and the City.) The five bobble heads on the dais nod their heads which indicates to us that they want the policy and the rights of people be damned. She is doing what the Council wants, rather than what is legally right.

      Finally, the day that Lannon resigned, we sent one of our people up to meet with the Mayor. At issue was Lannon’s use of the City seal and logo on emails he was sending out that were of personal nature. The City policy is explicit in that the use of a City supplied computer for personal use is not allowed. The policy further goes onto say that the City logo and seal cannot be used outside of City business. To us, this was a slam dunk. Capote called in the City Clerk and Smith, who was then acting as the City Attorney. Smith said that Lannon probably was able to use the seal as part of his contract. He couldn’t. We had checked that out prior to going to City Hall.

      Smith then said that the City Policies and Procedures may not apply to the City Attorney. We quoted the policy that said that they did. That was a policy that the Council had approved.

      With all avenues closed, she said she would get back to our representative.

      We’re still waiting.

      In our opinion, Smith is what used to be called a “political hack.” She is looking to keep her job rather than do what is right. That’s our opinion though.

      The City needs people that are ethical in their jobs and not willing to brush things aside because the Council or their supervisors want them to.

      Thanks again.

      A. Afterwit.

      P.S. You mention this:

      Credentials without the ability to do the work mean nothing.

      If you look at the lawsuit filed by the City against the Supervisor of Elections, Smith puts her Board Certification Seals in her signature on the lawsuit.

      We had never seen that before. We asked the legal people here. They had never seen it before.

      We read a lot of lawsuits here and we still haven’t seen it other than from Smith.

      It’s very odd.

      • Carla says:

        While I agree that Andrew Lannon was her supervisor, her presence on the dais that night in his place indicates that she was, effectively, the Acting City Attorney.

        Furthermore, Section 3.111 of the City Charter regarding the City Attorney says, “Appointment or employment. The city council shall appoint or employ a city attorney and such assistant attorney(s) as required to act as legal advisor(s) to the council and officials of the city as designated in 3.113(b) and serve at the pleasure of the council.”

        Therefore, even the assistant city attorney(s) are required to act as legal advisor(s) to the Council and serve at the pleasure of the Council. Her refusal to provide legal advice to Council (her employer) should have been grounds for dismissal.

  3. Carla says:

    One more thing about Ms. Smith’s refusal/inability to answer former Councilman Holton’s question on the dais, she instead pointed out that she is Board certified in City, County and Local Government Law, emphasizing credentials over credibility. Credentials without the ability to do the work mean nothing. As a Councilman, Holton had every right to expect Smith to be able to answer his question. Otherwise, what was she doing on the dais in the first place?

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