Tuesday, September 18, 2018
News Roundup

Madeira Beach faces more legal wrangles

MADEIRA BEACH — Yet another legal action was filed against the city Tuesday, this time claiming the City Commission violated the Florida Sunshine Law and the state's public records law when it voted to pay legal bills for current and former city officials who are facing ethics complaints.

The action was an expansion of a previous lawsuit that claimed the city also violated the Sunshine Law when the commission appointed Housh Ghovaee to fill the seat vacated by former Commissioner Pat Shontz.

She had resigned previously after becoming the target of an ethics complaint relating to renovation of a house she owned in the city.

The original lawsuit, filed by attorneys Ken Weiss and Timothy Weber on behalf of William Gay and Cathy Moore, alleged the commission picked Ghovaee over two other applicants by ballots filled out before the public meeting.

This latest Sunshine Law challenge also involves a commission vote during a public meeting that, according to the lawsuit, was based on information given to commissioners individually and privately by their attorney, Tom Trask.

During those private conversations, the lawsuit states, the city attorney informed commissioners about the contents of various ethics complaints against city officials to assist them in their subsequent decision on payment of legal bills.

Most of those ethics complaints have yet to be made public and by law are confidential, are not subject to the public records law, and can be released only by the parties involved or until they are made public by the Florida Commission on Ethics.

Weiss and Weber maintain that since the complaints were revealed by Trask to the commissioners and were the basis of their later decision, they therefore should be a public record.

At least seven ethics complaints have been filed with the Florida Commission on Ethics by residents against City Manager Shane Crawford, Mayor Travis Palladeno, Commissioner Elaine Poe, Shontz, building official Frank DeSantis, and the city manager's assistant, Cheryl McGrady.

Comments
Blake Snell wins major-league-leading 20th in 4-0 win over Rangers

Blake Snell wins major-league-leading 20th in 4-0 win over Rangers

ARLINGTON, Texas — One of the things that has made Blake Snell so good this season for the Rays is his refusal to be satisfied with anything he does.No matter how well he pitches, he finds flaws in his performance and identifies something ...
Updated: 15 minutes ago
Lightning journal: Alex Killorn’s just puttin’ on the Fitz

Lightning journal: Alex Killorn’s just puttin’ on the Fitz

TAMPA — How big is FitzMagic? It has hit the Lightning, too.Proving that Harvard guys stick together, Lightning forward Alex Killorn showed support for fellow Harvard grad Ryan Fitzpatrick by, sort of, dressing up the way Fitzpatrick did after ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Tuesday’s Rays-Rangers game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Tuesday’s Rays-Rangers game

LHP Blake Snell certainly gets the bulk of the credit for his remarkable season, and there's definitely some due to pitching coach Kyle Snyder. But don't ignore C Jesus Sucre, who Snell likes throwing to and has been both a good target and a calming ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs’ Jameis Winston sued by Arizona Uber driver in alleged groping incident

Bucs’ Jameis Winston sued by Arizona Uber driver in alleged groping incident

TAMPA — Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston was sued Tuesday by the Arizona Uber driver who has accused him of sexual assault by groping her in March 2016.The woman — identified only as Kate P. in the federal court papers — is seeking m...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays journal: Ji-Man Choi impresses fellow South Korean major-leaguer

Rays journal: Ji-Man Choi impresses fellow South Korean major-leaguer

ARLINGTON, Texas — DH Ji-Man Choi has impressed a lot of people with his increasing offensive production since joining the Rays in July.That includes fellow South Korean Shin-Soo Choo, the Rangers' veteran outfielder/DH who has been keeping tab...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Volleyball: PHU continues mastery of St. Petersburg with 3-0 win

ST. PETERSBURG — The much anticipated showdown between Class 8A, District 10 rivals Palm Harbor University and St. Petersburg ended up being a 25-21, 25-23, 25-20 sweep for the Hurricanes. It was the first loss of the season for the Green Devil...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Updated: 5 hours ago
For starters: Rays at Rangers, with Snell going for No. 20

For starters: Rays at Rangers, with Snell going for No. 20

UPDATE, 6:53: Cash said he and others around the team are excited about the possibility of Snell getting his 20th win, and also that they obviously want to win the game. Cash showed it by starting C Jesus Sucre, who Snell likes to throw to. … M...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Tampa Bay businesses feel Red Tide’s sting: ‘Our sales are going to be our lowest ever’

Tampa Bay businesses feel Red Tide’s sting: ‘Our sales are going to be our lowest ever’

TREASURE ISLAND — For the first time during her 15 years bartending at Caddy’s on the Beach, Amanda Hudson had to help close shop early this past weekend because the smell of dead fish coming from the gulf was too putrid to bear."We had to shut down ...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Updated: 7 hours ago