City Councilman Garrett Anderson
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published: Wednesday, April 24, 2013
AP council OKs probe of ethics flap
By CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY
AVON PARK -- City Council approved the scope of an investigation into conflicting complaints between Councilor Garrett Anderson and City Manager Julian Deleon Monday night. Each man accuses the other of misuse of office.
Council also approved hiring Al Green, of Paragon Information Services LLC, to conduct the investigation.
Anderson was allowed to vote regarding the investigation's scope, because, City Attorney Gerald Buhr said, the issue did not involve possible financial gain. Anderson's was the only vote against the scope of the investigation. He abstained from voting for Smith's contract. That vote was 4 to 0.
Anderson did initiate debate before the votes. He said two items should be removed from the investigation -- the question if "Anderson is the one who committed misuse of office" by asking Kenneth Long to pay for electrical damages to equipment at Anderson's Arms, through a false claim on Long's insurance.
"This was strictly business to business; it had nothing to do with my position as a councilor. The issue is between me and Long," Anderson said.
He also said the question of whether or not he engaged in unpermitted electrical work was irrelevant.
Buhr replied that because Long formally complained to the city about a sitting councilor allegedly trying to cheat, and that issue appeared to lead directly to Anderson allegedly making unpermitted electrical repairs, the issues are relevant. "A councilor can't flaunt the laws of the city," Buhr said.
"I don't believe the city can investigate a private business," Anderson said.
"You can file an injunction, but you won't get it," Buhr replied.
The conversation became heated when Anderson requested the city's investigation expand to include staff's fear of Deleon.
"In my opinion," Anderson said, "everything has to do with Deleon's character. Everyone is afraid of Deleon; city hall is not a healthy place."
Deleon responded immediately, "I've cut 103 jobs down to 50, I've taken hundreds of bullets," he began before Mayor Sharon Schuler interrupted the exchange.
"We should be looking into facts," she said. "We can't have the city manager accused of what he has been. If it is true (that he has abused his office), he can't remain. We keep getting involved and involved and it gets out of hand. We need to get this shadow off of our city."
Stopped after the meeting, Anderson declined comment at the advise of his lawyer.
Green will be reviewing documents, conducting interviews, securing physical evidence and preparing a written report within 60 days.
His hourly rate is $75; his hourly travel rate from his office is $37.50; he is reimbursed $.55 a mile. He anticipates the investigation to take about 30 hours, all things being even.
Green's resume states he joined the Polk County Sheriff's Office in 1978. After an 11-year career as a deputy, detective and special agent, he taught at the Polk Community College Police Academy, leaving in 1989 to form a private investigation office in Bartow.
Deleon (by: Beany - 4/27/2013)
Deleon must go he should be run out of Florida
copycat (by: Frank Fitzgibbons - 4/26/2013)
80 percent of these blog entries are written by the same person, i wonder who it is. You have to prove injury for liable Ray.
Blindman (by: AP Resident - 4/26/2013)
I don't think it is Anderson that needs your pity.
Fuzz Ball Wisdom (by: Blindman~ - 4/26/2013)
That Simon would admit to a mistake proves he's a gentleman. Fuzz you are so right about humor over hate every time. On a more serious note, re; Avon Park Citizen, can you state one thing Mr. Anderson has accomplished on the council that has "made the city proud"? I'm actually starting to feel sorry for Anderson now. He's probably a really good guy who unwittingly became a pawn in Avon Park politics. There is virtually no way for him to realize his mistakes and correct them, for to do so would betray those closest to him. And of course he thinks he's right. Right for a disgruntled few but wrong for Avon Park!
Simon (by: Blindman - 4/25/2013)
Ok Simon, I forgive you.
Justice for us all!!!! (by: AP Resident - 4/25/2013)
At least we are being heard and we don't have to be afraid anymore. We are all important!!!!! It feels good to know someone has been watching and cares.
Avon Park's Rights (by: US - 4/25/2013)
It feels like Avon Park is buzzing! People are excited for the 1st time in a long time. People have a voice, people are not afraid to stand up. People are talking about the future again. No more backroom, dark secrets, just everyday citizens enjoying life.
Go Team Anderson (by: Avon Park Citizen - 4/25/2013)
WE are all behind you!!!!! You have made your city proud.
Simon says! (by: Fuzz ball - 4/25/2013)
Seems Simon caught more attention than any other commentor raised here. Just goes to show that humor is better than hate every time.
Sorry Blindman (by: simon - 4/25/2013)
You are right. The two do not compare.
Let's play fair (by: Seeking the truth - 4/25/2013)
Why does the council not agree to investigate accusations against julian but will investigate accusations made by julian against another councilor? I would guess the petrified employees and ex-employees could answer that question should anyone want to ask it without julian present to intimidate them. Jobs are hard to come by these days.
deals or false accusations? (by: Ray Napper - 4/25/2013)
Some of You have stated that there are "backroom" deals or in other words criminal activities going on. I challenge any of you to go to the Sheriff with that information. Or maybe you should just grow up and stop lying about a man who has done more than he was asked. He needs to be a commissioner but he would take to large of a pay cut.
Please! (by: Blindman~ - 4/25/2013)
Simon, what has obama got to do with it? Deleon knows how to run the city's business but obama does not. You can't compare the two!
CLUELESS (by: Matt - 4/25/2013)
Some of you people will never get it! This has nothing to do with hiding behind a bible and calling out Mr. Deleon as if you know him personally...YOU DONT! You know what your fellow crocks and local good ol boys tell you...so because they go to church...they surely would never lie, because if they "claim" to have the Lord in the life..then by golly they are good honest people! Please......this guy Anderson is a CLOWN and has no business being a part of anything politically driven because he is uneducated and unprofessional...look at the way he shows up to a meeting...no tie..no slacks....barely a decent polo shirt which is what the audience should be wearing...you listen to him speak and do so neutrally, you see a man who in office because they good ol boys are controlling him and have an "in" on the system that they are so badly trying to regain...Mr. Deleon is just not giving in and is battling...the man saved the city money by merging the police department and he is getting SLACK!
City Government (by: Annie - 4/25/2013)
I thought City Government was supposed to express the people's ideal, wants, etc. This City Government is all about backroom deals, secrets, and lies. Oh, wake up people!!!!!
Mayor (by: phsycologist - 4/25/2013)
Mayor Barefield would not have been proud of Sherri Cobb. She has brought trouble to young Councilman Anderson, she has caused a drift in the immediate family of the Cobbs. Sherri leave the boy alone and let him grow into a free man, let him form his own opinions and find his own way. Do yourself a favor and stop giving him advise. Go hand out with the Macklins, they have plenty of poison to keep you on task.
Please save Julian - or else! (by: Brother - 4/24/2013)
Seems that if Julian isnt "saved", then we are all doomed. Caramba!
Focus (by: Do your homework - 4/24/2013)
Everyone is entitled to their opinions. It is obvious Ellie knows more of the truth than Simon. This situation has nothing to do with hispanics, cubans or any other nationalities. It boils down to the difference between personal agendas and the common good for the community of Avon Park. Simon, as julian instructs the council FOCUS.
Take back the City? (by: Simon - 4/24/2013)
Take it back to what?
bullet maker (by: fred - 4/24/2013)
Ganderson should of stuck to bullet making and leave the affairs of the city to the professionals.
God Bless Anderson (by: Nancy Alan - 4/24/2013)
He is trying to bring our city back to where it should be. Honesty, God fearing, Bible believing, strong moral values. I know God is proud of him. He stands and takes the heat for many city folks that could not stand for themselves. He is not ashamed!!!! Maybe if Julian got saved then there could be peace among the people. It's worth a prayer! My group is on it! ASAP
Our City Back (by: Judy - 4/24/2013)
Does anyone remember the days when the City of Avon Park had honest, hard-working Americans working for it. People that just love this Country, County and City!!!! People that would give you the shirt off their back to help you. I am holding out for that. Values and honesty make a good city not back room deals, secrets that destroy innocent people, liars, etc. We need God back in our City Government.
Hope (by: Blindman~ - 4/24/2013)
Maybe the city could offer to pay Anderson a lump sum to step down. What ever it was it would be worth it.
Jimmy Falco (by: Ellie - 4/24/2013)
I agree, Julian should resign. He has caused so much heartache for so many residents of Avon Park. People need their City back. Julian has always had an agenda for himself, it involves inside deals. Oh well, City managers are a dime a dozen.
Character (by: JIMMYFALCO - 4/24/2013)
This investigation will prove one thing,who is a liar. That will be the one whose character spells resignation. The MAN will need to do the right thing,and not represent our proud city.
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