Palm Bay: Corruption “Workshop” Tonight. Let The Theater Begin.

Palm Bay is holding a “Corruption Workshop” tonight at 6:00 PM in the Council chambers. According to a notice sent out by the City, the workshop will feature agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

In a true and just world, this workshop would last about 5 minutes.

“Good evening. My name is Agent Melvin Purvis. I have been asked to speak about corruption and its prevention. It’s simple. Don’t break the law. Any questions?”

Not being corrupt is easy. Simply abide by the oaths that Council members took upon entering office. How hard is that?

Let’s take a look for a moment at how this theater of the absurd will take place by first looking at those in attendance:

Mayor Rob Medina: Said in a Council meeting that he felt the corruption discovered by the sixteen month Joint Legislative Auditing Committee was “always overstated.” The head of the JLAC said that in all of his years on the Committee, he had never seen such a large number of violations or severity.

Arguably sold his vote on a pay raise for the Police, just three months after a new contract between the City and the Police Union had been negotiated and approved.

Deputy Mayor Kenny Johnson: Charged during a scandal where it came to light that Johnson was sexting with an underaged girl. The case was dropped when the girl refused to testify.

Arguably sold his vote on a pay raise for the Police, just three months after a new contract between the City and the Police Union had been negotiated and approved. Johnson had voted for approving the contract and then three months later said it was “insufficient.”

Councilman Donny Felix: Arguably sold his vote on a pay raise for the Police, just three months after a new contract between the City and the Police Union had been negotiated and approved.

Felix accepted campaign donations from a person now indicted for illegal activities. Felix was approached by a third party to broker the deal of a contribution for access. When the deal and the arrest came to light, Felix refused to return the campaign contribution.

Councilman Randy Foster: Commented that the JLAC report was a “political witch hunt,” but never could address the fact that investigations are not “witch hunts” when you actually find witches.

Like Felix, Foster accepted campaign contributions from an indicted individual. He too refused to return the contribution.

Foster has a bona fide ethics conviction from the State of Florida against him.

In addition, Foster bragged about “learning” from convicted and impeached Representative Alcee Hastings who has the distinction of being one of only 11 Federal judges in the history of the country to be removed from the bench for illegal and ethical violations.

Councilman Jeff Bailey: Two words: The Clubhouse.

Bailey was mentioned in the FBI probe into the corruption in Palm Bay. There was not enough to convict Bailey, but the standard when it comes to corruption is not being able to get a conviction. The standard is “did you do it?”


City Attorney Patricia Smith: Smith was embroiled in the “lost petitions” debacle in 2018. Smith lied to the people as to the status of the petitions and even where the petitions were, saying they had been delivered to the Brevard Supervisor of Elections Lori Scott when in fact the petitions were sitting in a conference room at City Hall.

Smith has also held the the City could violate the First Amendment rights of citizens.

In addition, Smith told us that a contract with a City employee outweighs the explicit language of the Charter and Ordinances.

City Clerk Terese Jones: Also involved in the “let’s hide the petitions” scandal.

The point is that it doesn’t matter how many “workshops” you have or how many “ethics classes” you have. It doesn’t mean a thing unless you demand people live up to the well known principles of corruption and ethics. It doesn’t matter unless you put do something to the people who cannot or will not abide by those principles.

As an example, in 2016, a former City Councilman stated under oath that he had not had any contact with a developer or an agent of the developer.

A citizen brought a picture to the City Council showing the Councilman engaged in conversations with the developer and a legal representative.

The result of the Councilman lying under oath?

Nothing to see here. Move on.

When that same Councilman violated Council Policies which was brought up by another Councilman, the result of that?

Nothing to see here. Move along.

People that were caught in the JLAC review were allowed to resign in some cases or kept their positions.

(Someone please tell us why they were not fired?)

One of the incidents involves a lawyer in the City’s Legal Office that wall illegally given a bonus. The lawyer refuses to return the money and is still employed.

Someone tell us why and how the lawyer, who is an “at will” employee, was not told to either “return the money and make this right, or don’t let the door hit you on the way out?”

People that used credit card without following procedures were not even disciplined – not a note in their records.

As a campaign promise, Medina said he would push for a forensic audit of the City. Not only has he not done that, but as we said, voted to increase the pay of police in what is arguably a violation of the City Charter.

So tonight the City will put on a dog and pony show on “corruption.”

Yet the City – and the people on the dais – not only seem be knee deep in the corruption, they won’t do anything about it.

From now on, anytime some brings up an illegal act or corruption, the response from the City will be “we had a corruption workshop, you know.”

Until the City – the citizens, employees and elected officials – get serious about dealing with corruption, nothing will change.

Until the City punishes corruption, nothing will change.

Corruption? [wink wink] [nod nod] Don’t know what you are talking about. Did we mention we had a corruption workshop?

8 Responses to “Palm Bay: Corruption “Workshop” Tonight. Let The Theater Begin.”

  1. Thomas Gaume says:

    I will be at the workshop because at some point there will be public comment. I really don’t have to think to hard about what to say, as I’ve lived much of what is talked about above.

    I do have one suggestion.

    Get rid of the metal detector check before going into Council Chambers. It was put there as a smokescreen for a previous Council member. To date it’s avoided nothing, and has cost the taxpayers not only the cost for the machine, but the expense of having 2 officers to man it before and during meetings.

    Maybe we could trade in the metal detector for a lie detector. That would better serve the citizens.

  2. Ron Lockwood says:

    Corruption isn’t complicated. When your hired (Elected), you take an oath to uphold the laws and rules set forth for that office you occupy. How can that be so complicated? Seems, many have no conscience about who they represent or what their personal agenda’s involve…so a little corruption here and there shouldn’t have a lasting effect…Right? Just look at this city and its lasting effect…Seems to me-to many, this City is the poster child on how to be corrupt and get away with it. I seriously don’t believe a “Workshop on Corruption” will negate on going or future corruption as the pot holes of Palm Bay behavior cannot be filled with smiling phases (Faces) or meaningless handshakes. Promises made/Promises broken…Ya think?

  3. Moon Doggy says:

    Agreed, until there are real consequences for those who break the rules not much will change. We see it far to often when politicians say “I take full responsibility” for some form of bad behavior but there are no consequences for their actions.

    One positive aspect of this meeting is that hopefully it will educate the residents on what to look for and what they can do about corruption if it occurs in the future, so in that respect it’s at least a step in the right direction. I guess it really boils down to how willing are the residents to stand up and call these folks out when they break the laws. Unfortunately, I’m sure it’s very discouraging to the residents who have tried to voice their past concerns and watched as nothing happened. My recommendation is to keep it up, nothing changes fast but if enough folks keep reporting their concerns to the proper authorities things will eventually improve. Hopefully the meeting will spend a fair amount of time explaining how citizens can report their concerns regarding ethical and legal violations.

    • Ron Lockwood says:

      Moon Doogy…Your optimism is virtuous but our city residents put little to no interest in our city’s agenda or circumstances until it hits them in their wallets. This bad behavior has had numerous investigations with little to no results of stopping it. Folks elected in this election cycle took from known corrupt individuals and were elected regardless of the behavior…a simple shrug of their shoulders dismisses this continued nuance of elected members of government.
      I can only hope your optimism grows teeth in the new administrations behavior and our watch dog citizens to defy this continued practice of elected officials.

  4. AP says:

    Sadly this is like a punch in the gut to the citizens who have repeatedly called out this corruption and had ZERO prosecution of those who were at fault. PROUD of our City? No way!!! OUR CITY has ZERO MORAL COMPASS and one of the FIRST votes this newly elected Mayor and Council made was corrupt! UNTIL the people of Palm Bay begin to VOTE people into office that don’t just say the have Integrity but through their actions ACTUALLY DO this City Mayor and Council will spend our money anyway they see fit, and acting in their own self serving interests and ignore the people! The people have to STOP be BOUGHT by the lobbyists that don’t LIVE HERE and are paying for these candidates!
    This is the Mayors FIRST DOG & PONY SHOW to say “HEY LOOK we are “Making our City Great Again” with out any real intention of doing anything!! LOL I don’t know which is worse, the corruption with no consequences or the lies and lack of moral compass from those sitting on the Dias??! I have seen several new councils seated and the reign of corruption is like a BADGE OF HONOR with these clowns and we are just the public coming to watch the CIRCUS with no real VOICE…EVER!! I have no idea how they sleep at night!!

  5. Cj Saturday says:

    Glad the FBI Will be in county. 😁
    Maybe they can your our swamp.

    The FBI seminar will be good, maybe inform citizens of what they can do. Because the elected folks history of action here for Brevard citizens is basically nothing.

    Maybe the FBI can give folks some pointers,
    when representatives,local elects and Commissioners and/oR their staffs, volunteers and online trolls harass, physical threaten voters, doxx, vaguely threaten other electeds and tax paying citizens with concerns and who can formulate hard questions.

    The last several years, despite all the b.s. slogans…..the swamp is still full and has been for decades.
    There is no accountability held via state attorney, FDLE or for law enforcement to truly police themselves for that matter.

    Maybe FBI are right on time 😉

    • AAfterwit says:

      Cj Saturday,

      Thanks for the comment.

      The workshop happened last night, no new information was presented by the FBI and no one on the Council had much to say or ask of the FBI.

      In addition, if we are talking about corruption in City Hall, where were all of the City employees? Why weren’t they there?

      Just a dog and pony show.

      Thanks again.

      A. Afterwit.

  6. Capt DJ says:

    I thought the meeting was a nothing burger. Was as hoping that the question of whether or not the FBI or FDLE had completed their investigations would be asked. Had Mr. Gaume showed up it might have. Perhaps it was but I left when Bailey started bloviating.