News-sun photo by CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY Avon Park city council member Garrett Anderson listens as his complaints against city manager Julian Deleon are challenged.
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published: Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Controversy brewing in AP
by CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY
AVON PARK -- "Somebody has to be lying," City Attorney Gerald Buhr pointed out Monday night during the city council meeting during discussion of what is turning out to be another controversy involving city officials.
City Manager Julian Deleon has asked for an independent investigation. Councilman Garrett Anderson said he was getting an attorney of his own.
The trouble reportedly started when Anderson blamed Long's Air Conditioning for damaged equipment at his business, Anderson Arms. Long's had done electrical work in the building in 2009. However, it wasn't until November 2012 when Anderson call Long's owner Kenny Long about electrical problems he was having.
Long, on the other hand, claims the company's work is not responsible for the damage. Instead, according to the Building Department the only permits pulled for the building was the original 200 Amp service, pulled by another reputable company, and the 200 Amp 3 phase installed by Long's Air Conditioning Inc.
Anderson asked in a Nov. 26, 2012 letter to Long that the company replace $162,000 worth of equipment and repair another $58,000 in damage.
Long wrote the following week, "You could have at least had the courtesy of speaking to me about your trying to 'pass the buck' on the damage that was done to your equipment; instead you sent me a certified letter.
"I should have expected this when you asked me if I thought your insurance would pay for the damage to your machines. My answer to you was, 'No, I don't think so.' So what do you do? You have the disrespect to come after me, just because I do have insurance."
Long says he refused to give Anderson any of his insurance information.
In a Jan. 22 letter to Deleon, Long claimed that Anderson used his position as a city councilman to try to get Long's insurance information. Long called for the new councilman's resignation at that time.
The city government up until this point was not yet involved, or even aware of the situation, Deleon said Monday. Then Long filed the official complaint Jan. 22 against Anderson with the city.
Worried about the issues involving a sitting councilman, Deleon turned Long's complaint over to Buhr for review and recommendations.
Anderson makes firearm ammunition at 18 S. Butler Road.
Deleon contacted S.Y. Mosely, building inspector for the county, in writing, asking him to check into the situation.
Mosely could not find permits for all of the work on the building, particularly for an indoor office or much of the electrical work. He added that an engineer should be brought in to inspect the construction.
In his turn, Anderson charges Deleon targeted his business, harassing him with code enforcement inspectors looking for a reason to shut him down. Anderson said he believes the harassment is politically motivated.
In a March 7 letter of complaint to the state's Ethics Commission, Anderson wrote that Deleon had begun harassing him after he objected to giving Deleon more time to move to Avon Park.
Anderson also claims "Deleon continued his attack by contact the BATF (The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms) and filing a false complaints against myself and Anderson Arms. Mr. Deleon maliciously alleged that I was engaging in illegal activity and should be shut down immediately."
Anderson said the BATF inspection found Anderson Arms to be in full compliance.
"I feel that I have been the victim of Mr. Deleon's abuse of power and authority as the city manager of Avon Park. I know Mr. Deleon will not stop until he feels that I have been punished for disagreeing with him," he said.
Faced with a complicated scenario involving an elected official, the city council voted to search for an independent, third-party investigator.
right (by: frank - 3/30/2013)
serious interpretation difficulties in this article, deleon is obviously trying to cover his tracks, might not happen this time.
Hey BLINDMAN (by: Ray Napper - 3/29/2013)
if you'll post your real name I'll be glad to answer that question for you...
Just curious (by: Blindman~ - 3/29/2013)
Just curious how Mr. Long, while suspecting Mr. Andersen to be behind the cities request for his insurance information, he was able to confirm that Mr. Andersen was in fact behind this?
Tuffing it out (by: observer - 3/29/2013)
Tuffley this says it all, "Building Official Mosely could not find permits for all of the work on the building, particularly for an indoor office or much of the electrical work. He added that an engineer should be brought in to inspect the construction."
Mama Cobb (by: druken - 3/29/2013)
What you gonna do when they come for you. The bad boys in blue will look at fraudulent insurance claims. Better take the time to look up the law, all it takes is intent to make the arrest. Better get the boy a brand new suit, and lose the cowboy boots.
Deleon agian (by: Concerned Avon Park citizen - 3/28/2013)
If this had been the first complaint against Deleon maybe but this is about the hundredth that I have heard. We should not be so rash to judge the councilman as the wrong doer. He is running a very professional organization in downtown avon park and we should be glad he chooses to do so in AP and not move it somewhere else. It seems to me that Deleon don't even want to live in this town just take a paycheck from it. I personally don't think that Anderson would be blaming Long's if he did not think they are responsible for the mishap he probably has his own insurance for his equpment in the event of a failure.
anderson (by: The teacher - 3/28/2013)
He reminds me of good ol boy politics. The Cuban did the right thing by calling endorcement. Long should file the ethics and criminal charges. Anderson is a scam artist and a liar. Sherri pie I hope your boy don't get booked to the big house. Just remember deny and deny, unless they show you photos and videos from the p.i.
deleon never stops (by: sick of ap problems - 3/28/2013)
Does deleon rule The world?
again (by: frank fitzgibbons - 3/28/2013)
So, here we are again, deleon picked a fight he is going to lose. The chips are going to fall, this is going to be good.
What is the big deal? (by: Blindman~ - 3/28/2013)
So what if Andersen wanted Long's insurance info.? It's not like getting the keys to the vault. Plenty of people or business could have Long's insurance certificate from all the business they have done. No way would Long's insurance simply pay Mr. Anderson at his request from a filing. They would most likely deny the claim.
Really? (by: Avon Park Resident - 3/28/2013)
I'm a firm beleiver in Anderson. He is the only one that EVER sticks up to the horrible council we have sitting up there. And sadly, they have DeLeon as their leader. None of us know the whole story for either party, nor will we ever. All I know is that Anderson actually fights for the people of Avon Park, unlike DeLeon and his minions who only care about how fat their wallet can get. People can say what they want and have their opinions, but I've seen one horible decision after another being made by the city council, and when someone like Anderson actually stands up for us and second guesses these decisions... well, thats all the proof I need. Go get em Anderson!
James (by: Tonya Marshall - 3/28/2013)
Thanks for the mention Mr. James but next time spell my name correctly, thanks. The reason I did not speak up in defense of Anderson is because I feel that he & Deleon are both at fault. I am not on either side of this mess. I just hate to see this BS brought before the city. It seems to me to be some petty macho crap & I think the Mayor should have stepped in & stopped it from the beginning. I was not "taking a dump on the city", I never do. I love Avon Park & defend it on a daily basis. I don't enjoy this, as some people seem to do. Most folks feed on this type of BS. Maybe it makes their lives all the better but that is not me. I realize that no city can or will ever be completely harmonious but this is ridiculous, in my humble opinion.
FRAUD (by: JIMMYFALCO - 3/28/2013)
I applaud the council for demanding an independant investigation for all allegations and Ethics violations. When the truth comes out,the citizens of Avon Park should demand an immediate resignation of the guilty party whom is lying and committed Fraud. Abusing your postion as a representative of our city needs to go-NOW!
Comical (by: Matt - 3/28/2013)
Another individual (Anderson) trying to run Deleon out of town. The comments by "nuff said" are spot on and nobody has the GUTS TO ADMIT IT! Deleon is not from AP or even highlands county, he is an outsider who has no direct ties to the pathetic good ol boy network in this county and because of it they are trying to eliminate him. I am by no means claiming that Deleon is perfect because he has made his mistakes, but most of what he has done is from going on the defensive. I am shocked beyond belief that he has stood on this long and hasn't given up and resigned, as I know a lot of good people who come to this county end of getting the boot because they are outsiders. Thats what they want from Deleon that way when he resigns they can bring in their "own" and badmouth Deleon as the problem for their towns downfalls. From the police department, to the local govt officials fighting him, and no this most recent councilmen who is another good ol boy thrown in to the fire by the local voters!
Get real Mr. Anderson (by: Hometown Girl - 3/27/2013)
Mr. Anderson who are you trying to fool. Mr. Long may have put the electrical in when the building was constructed. But Bagwells was a lumber company, not a manufacturer of bullets. The usage totally changed. Why would that be Mr. Long's fault? Sounds to me, you needed a little money. Get real.
Avon Park (by: Spectre - 3/27/2013)
I thought it had been too quiet up there in good old A.P......a constant source of entertainment. And so the saga continues.
DeLeon/Anderson (by: VB - 3/27/2013)
If you were paying attention, Mr. Long did not do the wiring for that particular equipment. It was installed after the work his company did in 2009. Why then should he accept fault. Fault lies with an irrresponsible business owner, who cut corners!
equipment failures (by: Ray Napper - 3/27/2013)
are usually caused by someone more times than by something like a power surge. I have a feeling that we are going to be replacing someone in Avon Park soon..."damage done to your machines", that says it all,,,it says nothing except Mr. Long knew there had been a problem which was because he had been told so and I'm sorry but when you sneak around to get someone insurance information like that, well, time will tell and so will the investigation and if found at fault then I think the loser should pay the people of Avon Park the costs involved.
Downtown (by: mustain - 3/27/2013)
Downtown Avon Park is a ticking time bomb. The City manager did the right thing in reporting the electrical problems. Who the heck approved a gun powder plant without any bob wire fence or security berms to contain intruders?
Tanya Marshall (by: james - 3/27/2013)
She was at the meeting posting live on her Facebook and taking a dump on the City. What a joke. I do not understand why she did not speak up and defend Young Jesse James pistolaro Anderson. Even Macklin knew to stay neutral in light of evident corruption shown by the councilman who is a law breaker.
Deleon (by: keg - 3/27/2013)
I saw the whole thing on Comcast. This was a school yard beatdown by Deleon on Anderson. The corrupt Councilman would not answer when called out on following the requirements for pulling permits for his business. Should he be exempted from getting permits for being on the City Council? Why should he be given breaks on laws when the rest of us are not?
Mama's boy (by: the cardiologist - 3/27/2013)
Mama the Cobb Bear should have ran for the City Council herself. It is absurd that she runs the boy like a blind puppet. He does have a mind, allow him to grow up, and make his mark. I do not care for Deleon, he answers to nobody, who died and made him King of Avon Park. There should of been courtesy towards the Councilman. He should of called Garrett and given him the chance to clean up his electrical wiring problems, instead of calling on the dogs.
Ooops (by: gem - 3/27/2013)
Anderson has picked a fight over faulty equipment? What?
So What? (by: 'nuff said - 3/27/2013)
This is what: The super-right religious folks like the Andersons of AP wont quit until they have one of their own as city manager to play puppet for them. Deleon is a slap in the face to the good old boys, the white race and the Anderson cult-like church... It is terribly sad that the backwards thinkers like Anderson and especially his mother keep digging at anything that represents progress in order to keep what they believe is some Norman Rockwell painting. IT ISNT COMING BACK- EVER!!!!
Yikes! (by: My Dog Has Fleas - 3/27/2013)
Anderson is manufacturing ammunition 2 blocks from Main Street, 3 blocks from the Jacaranda??? What happens if somebody tosses a lighted match into the mix?
Really!?!?!? (by: l.lakes - 3/27/2013)
Isn't Avon Park tired of these shenanigans?!?!
Mr. Longs own words! (by: Blindman~ - 3/27/2013)
When and if Mr. Long said, and I quote, "damage done to your machines", that says it all. It implies the machines did not fail from their own defect but were damaged in some way and if by an improper electrical source, Mr. Long could be at least partially responsible. Getting a certified letter instead of the courtesy of a phone call is no reason to deny responsibility. And exactly how did Mr. Anderson abuse his political position? And Mr. Anderson dont blame Mr. Deleon for doing his job.
So What? (by: Sebring_Resident - 3/27/2013)
I am like, Huh?
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