August 19, 2016 – News 6 WKMG
by Amanda Castro
The mayor of DeBary, Clint Johnson, sent out a tweet that has prompted the city to provide more security at the meeting to discuss if he will be removed from office.
“There will be no justice, so let there be no peace,” Johnson tweeted.
The city manager also said Johnson’s social media post calling on citizens to purchase and carry guns back in June after the Pulse shooting is concerning.
Some have accused Johnson of trying to “incite a riot” with his comments.
Johnson has been battling the City Council for months after he was accused of withholding public records.
He was also accused of making unauthorized demands to city workers.
Johnson tweeted after the memo was released on Thursday, saying, “The ‘Safety Memo’ is an example of how little the City administration trusts or respects the residents. Disgusting!”
News 6 spoke to Johnson by Skype on Friday. He says the city administration is twisting his tweets into something they’re not.
“What I meant from the start and what is obvious in my statement, I want people to be aware that their government is overstepping and overturning an election for frivolous reasons,” Johnson said.
The city has a meeting set for Wednesday to vote on whether to remove the mayor from office.
The memo outlines six security measures for the meeting, including “no one will be allowed in the Council Chambers other than persons essential to the hearing,” and that attendees will be screened prior to entry.
…Johnson tells News 6 limiting who can attend the public meeting violates the state’s sunshine laws.
“To think that they’re going to be violent now is basically just a bad excuse to try to disenfranchise the voters and keep them out of the meeting,” Johnson said.
News 6 spoke to Interim City Manager Ron McLemore by phone Friday. He told News 6 the precautionary safety measures are in place based on concerns from the community. He adds the city has the authority to make security measures when needed.
…Barbara Petersen, the president of the non-profit First Amendment Foundation which acts as open government advocate, tells News 6 the safety memo raises a lot of red flags. She says the city manager does not have the authority to determine who can attend an open meeting, but ultimately a judge would have to determine if there is a sunshine law violation. [READ MORE]