Did You Hear the One About the Sunshine Violations?

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Sunshine Violations for Palladeno, Lister, Hodges

Well, Madeira Beach officials seem to be trivializing this legal action, too, but we think it is not a joke!
This is the third lawsuit we have filed against the City of Madeira Beach.  It is about the way in which the selection of the Interim Commissioner was done.

  • The reason for the violation is that Florida statutes require all official acts to be taken only at meetings open to the public.  

    From the Florida Statutes:
    “All meetings of any board or commission of any state agency or authority or of any agency or authority of any county, municipal corporation, or political subdivision, except as otherwise provided in the Constitution, including meetings with or attended by any person elected to such board or commission, but who has not yet taken office, at which official acts are to be taken are declared to be public meetings open to the public at all times, and no resolution, rule, or formal action shall be considered binding except as taken or made at such meeting. §286.011(1) Fla. Stat. “(Emphasis supplied.)

  • And, in fact, two candidates who had applied to for the interim Commission position were notified on Friday, July 8 that Mr. Houshang Ghovaee was chosen and they were not.

And, just for your information, in the past, when an interim Commissioner was selected, the Commissioners interviewed ALL candidates before making the selection.

  • The applicants were not given the courtesy of an interview
  • The selection was made without any background checking — of financial stability or other that may be relevant to their official responsibilities.

And, FYI, we believe that doing a background check to verify appropriateness for the Commission seat would have been a prudent action for all candidates applying.    Just for our information, we did take a look at Pinellas County Records for all three applicants.  We wonder if the decision would have been different if the named parties to the Sunshine Law Violation had viewed public records for the three applicants.  What we learned was nothing short of astonishing!

Further, FYI, Commissioner (Poe) expressed concern about the appropriateness of Mr. Ghovaee, based on ‘conflicts’  Mr. Ghovaee might have based on his construction business and various construction projects in Madeira Beach.  The City Manager brushed these concerns aside, much in the same way he brushed aside the concerns about Former Vice-Mayor Shontz’s project house – which is WE UNDERSTAND – now the subject of a Florida Ethics Comission investigation.

Here’s Anne Lindberg’s blog article – with comments from the Mayor and City Attorney, as well as our attorney, Ken Weiss.  =>  Click to Read More