This article, originally published by Al Zucaro on BocaWatch.org, is preserved for historical purposes by Massive Impressions Online Marketing in Boca Raton.
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A review of City Council/CRA meetings during the last quarter of 2017 reveals an incredible display of ‘feckless’ leadership by some elected officials of Boca Raton.
Feckless defined is the lacking of initiative or strength of character with synonyms like ‘useless, worthless, incompetent, and inept….These adjectives appropriately define the leadership or lack thereof during the recent ethics, now criminal, situation surrounding suspended Mayor Susan Haynie. Suspended by the Governor for alleged public corruption over incidents dating back to 2013 and before; incidents where the City Attorney’s participation and her subsequent silence to what is now the uncovered unethical and, perhaps, criminal conduct on behalf of the then Mayor.
Like ‘deer in the headlights’, leadership demonstrated inept governance by their unwillingness to address the ethics issue after ample evidence was presented; evidence gathered from within the City Attorney’s own files. Even after numerous investigative reports by the local media, leadership abstained from taking any action and sat through an incredible and painstaking display of insubordination by the City Attorney.
Reference is made to the CRA/City Council meetings of November 2017 primarily in the Council Member comment sections. Reference is also made to the Palm Beach County Ethics Commission’s findings and the still ongoing State of Florida Ethics Commission case. Even more disturbing is reference to the current public corruption criminal matter pending in Palm Beach County Criminal Court.
This information and more was at the disposal of the entire City Council. To her credit, Councilwoman Andrea Levine O’Rourke did raise this subject by inquiring about the City Attorney’s involvement and the involvement of staff members at the Palm Beach County Ethics Commission. Her efforts were met with resistance by the Council’s leadership and ultimately failed to get the collective Council to engage in any further discussion or any investigative process.
The City Attorney’s participation in advocating for the individual interests of Susan Haynie without specific direction of her client, the City of Boca Raton, ought to be viewed as just cause for immediate dismissal. However, the Council has taken no such action. Then Deputy Mayor Jeremy Rodgers and then CRA Chair/Council member Scott Singer specifically declined to institute such inquiry. Now with Susan Haynie’s suspension and the pending criminal charges, the legal and political processes have actually moved forward in spite of their lack of action.
With regards to the City Attorney, her conduct ought to be the subject of a separate investigation, perhaps by the Florida Bar, on a conflict of interest theory; a conflict that has directly caused harm to her client, the City of Boca Raton, not to mention the citizens of the city who are suffering through a painful political situation and a costly and, albeit, unnecessary special election.
Attached here is a video commentary produced in November 2017 raising these questions and asking for a City Council action back then.
Evidence of these activities was presented to every member of the City Council as far back as March, 2017. Within the evidence were proofs that top level members of the City Administration were also aware of the circumstances but sat silent for years while the then Mayor participated in city business without making the appropriate and required public disclosures. No public record has been identified to indicate that any other member(s) of the then City Council(s) was aware of the City Attorney’s activities.
For all this and more, the City Council should have ample reason to immediately relieve the City Attorney from her post. The Council should have just cause to file a complaint allowing a third party agency, the Florida Bar, to review the facts and make appropriate findings and, finally, the Council also should have just cause to file an ethics complaint, local and/or state, against the City Attorney as well….
Or…will the collective City Council continue to sit on its hands and, perhaps, wait for a private citizen to take the lead and file these items. Remember, but for a private citizen raising the question and filing the ethics complaint, this ethics matter in City Hall would have come to closure in November 2017; unresolved, unaddressed…swept under the proverbial political rug.
Corrective action needs to be taken; action to effect principles of good governance at the highest levels in our city beginning with the dismissal of the City Attorney; a City Attorney whose judgment has come into serious question for a breach of the public trust and a breach of her obligations to the primary client; the City of Boca Raton.
Publisher of BocaWatch
FOR several years the city council has been pondering way to much time on the mid city project, all to demonstrate the lack of decisive intelligence needed to vote on this issue. The city manager Lief makes over $200,000 per year with bonuses! Yet personally it appears, he doesn’t manage the police force that gets raises for lack luster performances! And putting untrained police officers on the force! See http://WWW.MichaelKronesRealtor.com
As a Son of One of The Families that help start a community into the 20th Century. I am Embarrassed for them. The Development of Boca Raton has gone to the Dogs, Actually , Dog’s are smarter. No one will stand up to certain Members of The Council because of Fear.
Given 15 Minutes, I would love to address their incompetence in an OPEN City Council Meeting… You will never be able to Forget what I have to say.
the name of the city attorney, please.
This sounds like the same unethical criminal cover up that was done for Hillary and the Obama clan – including CIA, FBI etc… they are all in bed together – my guess is the attorney isn’t the only ‘dirty’ one in the bunch! The mayor built the house of cards!!!
I could tell when attending my first city council meeting that the city attorney was lazy and inept. Throwing her hands up at even the slightest bit of work, claiming that enacting simple ordinance changes that other cities have already enacted was to difficult for Boca Raton or unenforceable. Meanwhile other cities had already done some of the very things I was inquiring about. I’m so happy to see that Boca is finally waking up and ridding itself of the cancer within its government. Its time to clean house come Aug.
As a practicing attorney with 45+ years (most in Boca Raton) and a member of the Florida Bar, I find this issue very disturbing. I believe the City Counsel has a duty to investigate this matter immediately. Failure to do so is evidence of malfeasance in office.
Any lawyers out there that can answer the following questions? If our prior Mayor is under investigation, is it possible for some of the development and rezoning that she voted on be put on hold until those results are released? If we find out she was bribed or profited from these project, then are those projects legal? Could the city at least wait until the results of the investigation before being allowed to proceed?
Thank you Scott Singer. You knew what was going on a year ago and did nothing. Furthermore, I wrote you personally asking you to get involved. I said you will look bad when you run for Mayor. Well, here we are and you are pledging support for Susan Haynie as County Commissioner within days if her arrest. A Harvard educated lawyer and member of the Florida Bar who values politics over lawful governance. Truly shameful.
Both the City Attorney and City Manager make more than any governor in the U.S. per year and when they retire have full benefits-annual salary with yearly increases plus medical.
The citizens of Boca Raton need to clean house on all these government employees. They are all ripping us off and our tax dollars and ruining the city. Downtown Boca is a concrete jungle and Mizner Park has become a relic .. stores and restaurants are leaving .the police are to busy on their cell phones to watch for crime .. they should be arresting all our city officials !! Make this city nice again
Learned some new stuff with very detailed information.