Thank you for visiting The Islander Newspaper Online.

We are currently updating our website to provide you better service and function.
If you would like to access the new site, please, click here: The Islander Newspaper

Sorry for any inconvenience. Our new site and service will resume shortly.

Web Master

The Award Winning & Best News on Anna Maria Island, FL Since 1992

"The Award Winning & Best News on Anna Maria Island, FL Since 1992"

Friday, Aug, 1, 2014
Florida Press Assn. Award-Winning Web Site
Home Latest News Weather Sports Real Estate Classifieds Island Guide Islander Store

 SECTIONS

 • 

Main News

 • 

Classifieds

 • 

Opinions

 • 

Streetlife

 • 

Calendar

 • 

Fishing

 • 

Sports

 • 

Real Estate

 • 

Obituaries

 • 

Weather

 Features

 • 

Cortez Cook Off: The Results

 • 

Anna Maria Island Bridge FDOT replacement bridge

 • 

National Hurricane Center (Atlantic)

 • 

Advanced Search

 • 

I love AMI

 • 

Mystery Story

 • 

Fishing Laws

 Classifieds

 • 

Classifieds Page

 • 

Place An AD

 • 

Items for Sale

 • 

Garage Sale

 • 

Estate Sale

 • 

Announcments

 • 

Lost & Found

 • 

Pets

 • 

Transportation

 • 

Boats & Boating

 • 

Fishing

 • 

Kids 4 Hire

 • 

Help Wanted

 • 

Health Care

 • 

Services

 • 

Lawn & Garden

 • 

Landscaping

 • 

Home Improvement

 • 

Business Opportunities

 • 

Rentals

 • 

Real Estate

 Weather

 • 

Today's Forecast

 • 

10 Day Forecast

 • 

Today's Tides

 • 

Emergency e-mail

 • 

Storm Watch

 Archive

 • 

News Archive

 • 

2009 Top Notch Gallery

 • 

2008 Top Notch Gallery

 • 

2007 Top Notch Gallery

 • 

2006 Top Notch Gallery

 • 

2005 Top Notch Gallery

 • 

2004 Top Notch Gallery

 Useful Links

 • 

Island Links

 • 

i.wed

 • 

Islander Store

 • 

About this Site

 Contact Us

 • 

Islander Store

 • 

Subscribe

 • 

About Us

 • 

e-mail us

Story Tools

Date of Issue: April 19, 2007

Public records suit filed against Bradenton Beach

The Islander newspaper filed a lawsuit this week against the city of Bradenton Beach regarding records involving the resignation of its building official.

The suit requests information that led to the March 8 resignation of building official Ed Mc Adam. His resignation apparently was prompted by a one-sentence, un-dated memo to Mayor John Chappie by Gail M. Garneau, code enforcement officer, which states: "Please by advised that I am filing a formal complaint against the city of Bradenton Beach for sexual harassment by the building official, Ed Mc Adam."

The Islander believes that further documents are in existence regarding the allegation by Garneau and the subsequent resignation by Mc Adam. However, repeated requests for any such documents have not been met.

City clerk Nora Idso, custodian of records for the city, has said, "I wish I could supply [your request]. I can't produce what I don't have. The only document associated that was given to the city was the original harassment complaint which I provided." She said that if any meetings were held they were not held at city hall. The only records she has pertain to Garneau's memo and Mc Adam's resignation letter, which makes no mention of Garneau's allegations.

The Islander lawsuit details the newspaper's written and oral requests for records dating from March 6 regarding the administrative leave of the Garneau and Mc Adam and any information regarding that leave. Written requests cited Florida Statutes Chapter 119, and on March 19, Idso said that there were no exempt documents, and that there were no additional documents responsive to the request.

The Islander retained attorney Kendra Presswood at that point, who contacted city attorney Ricinda Perry, who was handling the matter for the city.

Perry responded that "the City provided all public records they have in their possession that they are legally obligated to providepursuant to [the] request; however, even assuming arguendo that there were additional public records, such records would be exempt pursuant to Chapter 112 regarding receipt of whistle-blower information."

Perry's letter also indicates that she advised the city that anyone who disclosed information made confidential under Chapter 112 would be guilty of a crime.

The Islander's Presswood responded that "if the city was claiming there were nopublic records responsive to the requests, that Perry so state. Plaintiff's counsel advised that if Perry would not make such a representation, it would be inferred that there are, in fact, public records that have not been provided and this lawsuit would be filed."

Perry responded with a fax on March 22, in which she again qualified her response by stating "the City has made available all public records they have in their possession that they are legally obligated to provide … however, even assuming arguendo that there were additional public records, such records would be exempt pursuant to Chapter 112, Florida Statutes, regarding receipt of whistle-blower information."

Presswood responded with another request: "If no public records are provided and I do not receive unqualified responses to the above questions by the end of the day today, I will assume that the city has, in fact, been keeping records from The Islander and will file suit promptly."

Perry provided the same qualified responses, stating: "The city has repeatedly and within a reasonable time, made available all public records they have in their possession that they are legally obligated to provide… however, even assuming arguendo that there were additional public records, such records would be exempt pursuant to Chapter 112 regarding receipt of whistle-blower information."

The basis of the lawsuit is that, according to Presswood, "Based upon the city's failures to respond and delays in responding; the city attorney's failure to provide an unqualified representation that there are no other public records responsive to plaintiff's requests; as well as the qualification by Idso that the only document actually given to the city was the original complaint; it is reasonable to infer that the City has records it is claiming do not fall within the definition of a public record and is wrongfully refusing to produce said records on that basis; is aware of public records but is wrongfully claiming it is not required to produce them because they are not currently in the physical possession of the city;and/or is aware of public records but is wrongfully claiming they are exempt from disclosure under Chapter 112.

"In addition, it is reasonably inferred from the above-described circumstances that there were private meetings between public officials prior to the public emergency meeting in which the city accepted Mc Adam's resignation and that there were likely public records concerning same which the city allowed someone else to maintain possession of in order to avoid the Public Records laws."

However, the few documents provided indicate that invoices from Perry's law firm of Lewis Longman and Walker held entries that "beginning as early as Feb. 21, Perry was meeting with Chappie concerning the sexual harassment complaint."

On Feb. 23, Perry met with Chappie and with Mc Adam, and then did "follow-up with commissioners with phone calls." On Feb. 28, Perry's invoice states she did preparation for the "administrative investigation and strategy for same to be held on March 2" and she had a "phone conference with city officials re: conduct investigation and location."

No hearing date for the lawsuit had been set at Islander presstime.

Have your say:

No comments for this page. Feel free to be the first

Username:

Contact:

(email or url)

Subject:

Your View:

Please enter the security code below:

security  

Get breaking news

Follow the Islander on TwitterBecome a fan of The Islander on Facebook

Sign up to receive breaking news alerts via e-mail. We'll send you a notice when the news and classifieds appear online every week, before the print edition hits the streets.

Click here for Gulf oil spill updates related to Anna Maria Island.

Historic Anna Maria City Pier Plank Walk

Put your name, your message, your memorial on the Historic Anna Maria City Pier prior to the Pier Centennial Celebration! And join the fun!

CLICK HERE for Stoltzfus e-mails and related court documents.


FREE Island
Vacation Guide:
get it here

Cortez Cookoff

Click here for 2010 Cortez Cookoff Winner and recipes

To advertise here, please
visit our rates page
or contact us at:
sales@islander.org
Phone: (941) 778-7978
Fax: (941) 778-9392

Back to top of Page

Home | Weather | Real Estate | Classifieds | Archives | Contact | Island Links
Islander Store | Subscribe About this site | Classifieds Page | Place an Ad
For Sale | Garage Sales | Announcements | Lost & Found | Pets | Transportation
Boats & Boating | Fishing | Kids for Hire | Help Wanted | Health Care | Services
Lawn & Garden | Landscaping | Home Improvement | Business Opportunities | Rentals | Real Estate

Our Privacy and Copyright Statements © 1992 - 2009, The Islander