May 24, 2016 – The Herald Tribune
by Dale White
By declining to act on Commissioner Robin DiSabatino’s request for reimbursement of more than $30,000 she paid to fight and then settle a public records lawsuit, the Manatee County Commission on Tuesday may have set itself up for a lawsuit by their fellow commissioner.
On Tuesday, Ralf Brookes, attorney for DiSabatino, asked the commission to reimburse his client for $24,000 in her attorney fees and a $6,500 she paid to settle Sunshine Law litigant Michael Barfield’s lawsuit against her.
County Attorney Mickey Palmer advised commissioners not to authorize the reimbursement. He cited his interpretation of state law and common law that she must have prevailed in the lawsuit to qualify for reimbursement.
Because she paid Barfield’s attorney fees and agreed to no longer use her personal computer to store emails related to county business and to take annual training in public records law, DiSabatino did not prevail, Palmer said. [READ MORE]