Palm Bay: Hearing Officer Finds Probably Cause Commissioner Holton Violated City’s Conflict Of Interest Code.

Palm Bay City Commissioner Trey Holton is in more hot water after an independent hearing officer found that there was “probable cause” to believe [Commissioner Holton] violated city code dealing with conflicts of interest.”

The allegations stem from Holton’s work for the Space Coast Paratroopers Association before taking office as a city councilman in November 2014.

But Holton didn’t get paid for his work from the organization — which partnered with the city in its “Homes for Warriors” program — until after taking office.

The hearing officer, retired Circuit Court Judge John Moxley Jr., found that the temptation to place private interest of the SCPA ahead of Holton’s public interest to Palm Bay would indicate that there was probable cause that the appearance of conflict of interest existed from the time

Holton took office until the time the SCPA ceased to exist on April 24, 2017 — a period of nearly 2½ years.

Moxley added, though, that Holton never actually voted on any SCPA matters during that time.

As one would expect, Holton disagrees with the findings.

What happens next in this process is the City Commission will proceed to either a Special Commission meeting at which time the City will need to hire an independent legal counsel, or do nothing.

If the Special Commission meeting takes place, Holton’s fellow Commissioners can vote for nothing to happen, reprimand; censure; removal or exclusion from leadership positions; or removal or exclusion from the governing board.

Removing Holton would be a huge step and we don’t think that would happen.

Yet it is beyond dispute that Commissioner Holton has issues owning up to his own mistakes. As we noted on June 18, 2017, Holton got into a huff after another Commissioner noticed that Holton was not listening to the speakers and was working on his computer to update his SunPass. Instead of just saying, “sorry,” Holton got up and left the dais and did not return. In doing so, he broke the rules of the City Commission and arguably that of the Florida Statutes.

The following day, he then accused the Commissioner who noticed Holton failing to live up to his duty on the dais of being a “bully.”

Funny how Holton sees accountability as being a “bully>

We here at Raised on Hoecakes have our own issues with Commissioner Holton, and at some point we will detail those issues. (Perhaps tomorrow if we get the chance.)

For now it is safe to say that another issue of leadership and ethics has come crashing down onto the heads of the Palm Bay City Commission. These issues costs the taxpayers money – money that the City continually reminds people it needs.”

The agenda item for the hiring of the independent counsel in this case is seen below and the last legislative action of the December 7 Commission meeting. The only thing following it is citizen comments.

We wonder why the City would bury this so late in the meeting?

Then again, we also wonder why City Manager Gregg Lynk was not at the last Commission meeting. We never heard the reason, but we know that answer and not disclosing that reason shows that Palm Bay is not committed to any type of transparency or maybe even honesty with its citizens.

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