published: Sunday, September 22, 2013
Deleon to ask for legal fees payment
By PHIL ATTINGER
AVON PARK -- City Manager Julian Deleon plans to ask the Avon Park City Council to cover his legal fees to fight a recent Ethics Commission complaint.
He told the News-Sun on Aug. 15 he had spent $8,500 to defend himself against an ethics complaint filed by Councilman Garrett Anderson in March.
He also said at the time that he was entitled, by law, to recoup those fees from Anderson, claiming that Anderson's complaint was "malicious" and included false testimony.
In addition to asking the city to reimburse him, Deleon said he and his attorney would take action through Florida's Commission on Ethics to recuperate fees from Anderson directly, at which point he would reimburse the city.
In Section 3 of the agreement, he is also asking the city not to seek reimbursement from him in the event that he and his attorney are unable to get money from Anderson.
Anderson, in an email sent out Friday, said he finds such an arrangement "inappropriate for the Avon Park taxpayer."
He also said Deleon had spread libelous comments about him, his company and his family; alleges that Deleon's actions were malicious and false, and claimed such actions are part of the reason the city has faced lawsuits in recent months from former employees.
Calls Friday to Deleon for comment were not returned.
Monday's council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. at 123 E. Pine St.
When the Ethics Commission released its findings in August, it found that there was no probable cause to believe Deleon had committed any violations.
The Ethics Commission dismissed Anderson's complaint in mid-September, but Anderson hasn't accepted that finding as absolution of guilt.
Anderson said that when he attended the Ethics Commission's hearings, a member of the board said the timing of alleged threats by Deleon and subsequent inspections to Anderson's business were suspicious.
Anderson had alleged under Florida Statute 112 that Deleon had used his position to threaten or attempt to threaten him and his business after Anderson voted against a motion -- which passed 4-1 -- to remove the requirement for the city manager to live within the city limits.
Deleon lives in Lake Placid.
In his complaint, Anderson said that Deleon told him his ammunition manufacturing business -- Anderson Arms Inc. -- would face serious charges if Anderson ever questioned Deleon's private business again.
Anderson claimed his business received visits from the county building inspector and city fire department inspector shortly after that, both of whom told him they were instructed to find something wrong.
However, when questioned during the ethics investigation, both inspectors denied being sent by Deleon or telling Anderson their jobs were threatened if they didn't find violations.
Deleon told ethics investigators the inspections came from a citizen complaint and that he couldn't have threatened the county inspector because he doesn't work for the city.
He and Anderson disagree on whether the complaint was "frivolous," as claimed in agenda materials.
Anderson stated that if the City Council chooses to set a precedent and grant attorney fees to Deleon, he would want his legal fees paid -- not only for the ethics complaint but also for defending against investigations by private investigator Al Smith.
Anderson claims Smith's investigation proved Deleon's allegations against him were false.
hmm (by: been there - 10/2/2013)
Sounds like Beany struck a cord with Parky or is it blindman.
Deleon (by: Beany - 9/24/2013)
OK I made a mistake they should not be a city manager if they don't live in that city. Deleon should be run out of Florida as he is not worth what it would cost to put him behind bars.
Re: city agenda comment (by: Blindman~ - 9/24/2013)
"city agenda by: sick of AP". I have to go out on a limb with a wild accusation on this comment and say this might be Tom Macklin. Having served as Mayor in the past Mr. Macklin is no dummy, but he lost control and is virtually powerless now with the exception of his influence over Councilman Anderson. Though it may not be fact, Mr. Macklin would be about the only one behind the Anderson clan with the level of sophistication to be so deceptive by accusing "all members of the council" of reaping personal gain. Only a snake would be so clever as to appear critical of the entire council while simultaneously functioning as a driving force behind one of it's members, Garrett Anderson. Mr. "sick of AP" appears in his writing to be unattached to anyone and independent, but his rhetoric reaks of the Anderson clan theme... change, give the city back, and trash the manager. Five dollars says this is X-Mayor Tom Macklin.
Personal business (by: no nonsense - 9/23/2013)
small town politics have been in the forefront of AP since day one. Too many fingers wanting a piece of the action and hating everything about the City when they cant get a job there. Everyone knows the cushy pay given there. No one else in Highlands county governement makes as much as the AP worker. Be grateful you have a job and get to work.
Fresh ideas? (by: sweet poison - 9/23/2013)
What are these fresh ideas that Bubba and Remmick want to bring? This is the first time I have heard that they even have ideas. Are they planning on bringing back the police? getting a chief for the Fire Department? Oh yes, those are fresh ideas all right. So fresh you will have to print out money to pay for that. Money we tax payers dont want to pay when we dont have to. Why dont they get creative and show us how they will drop the fire assessment? Whats that? You cant do that when you are trying to give your buddies raises?
Hey Beany! (by: Power shot - 9/23/2013)
If only residents were eligible to work for the City then you would only have about 5 people working there. Even with the old police department only 3 or so lived in the city. Same with the firefighters, only 3 live in the city. So your logic just aint logical.
city agenda (by: sick of AP - 9/23/2013)
The council and Deleon have a hidden agenda. All members of the council or there close family members are reaping personal gain by this current administration. Furthermore, why are we the taxpayer not invited to the city managers house for his little private get togethers in lake placid? Im sure city agenda and policy is discussed there. Why are we being double taxed for two law enforcement agencies who conduct no community policing, enforce no traffic infractions, or get out on foot to interact with the taxpayers. Time for change my fellow taxpayers, give the city back, its time to end the Deleon regime!!
We will not JUMP (by: Mary - 9/23/2013)
Let's see bring jobs into Avon Park, we did have a lot of people working before we started getting rid of them. Businesses in Avon Park it looks like they are trying to run them out of town. If anyone of the council members ever say no to Mr. Deleon or question his reasoning for something there would be blank to pay... He sets an agenda for himself and the rest has to follow it cannot be any other way. If Mr. & Mrs. Sutherland would have stayed out of the personal business of the 7 or 8 women who worked in City hall that were trying to come out with the negativity and treatment they were receiving from persons in charge they would have came forward with the real information and their attorney. Things are not always as they seem. The truth will prevail.
Deleon (by: Beany - 9/23/2013)
He should be run out of Avon Park and Florida what he did to the Avon Park Police should have been enough to send him home or behind bars. If you don't live in Avon Park you should not have a city job. He should pay his own expenses for being caught.
Good Luck Avon Park (by: Blindman~ - 9/23/2013)
Woah ... good citizens of Avon Park, beware! Due to the upcoming election with two "new" candidates; the function of your city government, continued progress, integrity and overall health & wellbeing of your town is under threat! Good Luck!
Free political ad (by: J Macy - 9/23/2013)
What a better place to advertise a political ad and free. Well done.
Parke Sutherland (by: Jim Barnard - 9/23/2013)
Please continue to put the truth out for all to read. You have my vote and so does the Mayor. I will be at that forum in October. Thanks for your service to the city.
Sutherland response (by: Rita Heiring - 9/22/2013)
Mr. Sutherland, it is refreshing to see your honest approach and explanation. I have never seen any other council person respond on this forum. I felt compelled to do the same since this situation calls for a strong response from the council and the public. Eventhough I may not always agree with council decisions I respect your candor and diligence and not hiding behind a pseudo-name on this forum. You are by far the most informed and clearly the most prepared of all the Council and I thank you for representing the City well.
si (by: country bumpkin - 9/22/2013)
Parked seems a bit nervous. Curious? Why does a seated council person, go on with such a dissertation ? We'll see..
Anderson (by: bzf7b - 9/22/2013)
Go cry on pee wee Remick's slinging c-guns. He and wolf man can comfort you in the back while drinking some warm cocoa.
Jump (by: C. Parke Sutherland - 9/22/2013)
Blukey, the City will “jump” this issue and continue to grow as we have for the last three (3) years. While our administration has dealt with legal actions (all of which have, thus far, been resolved in the City’s favor) and Councilman Anderson’s baseless ethics complaint, we have continued to expand our utility service (by about 20,000 feet of pipe and acquiring multiple independent utility systems), to be financially conservative (reducing property taxes by 95%, utility rates by 20% and becoming debt free in December 2013), continue with voluntary annexations (of South Florida State College and others) and continue with public/private partnerships with local business/property owners. We have an important upcoming election in our City. Greg Warner is running for the Mayoral seat and Jonathan Remick is running for my seat. Warner’s campaign contribution report indicates that he received a substantial portion of his contributions from individuals or entities affiliated with the individuals who are seeking to open a boarding house on Main Street, Councilman Anderson’s family and certain of our fire fighters. Our fire fighters were active in Councilman Anderson’s campaign. Remick’s family member is a fire fighter for the City. While I have the utmost respect for our City’s fire fighters and their right to support any candidate, the citizen’s should question whether Warner and Remick will follow Councilman Anderson’s example of service to the City. Our Chamber of Commerce is considering hosting a candidate forum in mid-October. I invite all citizens to attend any candidate forum and our City council meetings. I want all citizens to be informed, understand how important this upcoming election is for the City and turn out to vote. Please contact me with any questions or comments (firstname.lastname@example.org or 452-6900)
Jump (by: Blukey - 9/22/2013)
If Avon Park could just jump this hurdle and go on with building this city back, we’ll have a great City again. I feel that this Council and City Manager have done a great job, but we seem to be stuck in park on the same agenda. We need work on bringing jobs into Avon Park, Businesses in the down town area and other parks of the City. It was sad in the past that you could not buy a pair of underwear in Avon Park, so there is work to be done and this Council with the City Manager are getting it done. Just JUMP
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