Panama City News-Herald by Nathan Cobb
March 31, 2020
Bossert claims councilmen and the mayor retaliated against her after she fulfilled a public records request for a resident they dislike.
PANAMA CITY BEACH — After being fired during the middle of a city council meeting last week, Mary Jan Bossert is suing Panama City Beach.
The lawsuit came a day after the former city clerk’s termination on Thursday. Bossert claims councilmen and the mayor retaliated against her after she fulfilled a public records request for a resident they dislike. City officials declined to comment on the pending litigation on Tuesday.
While Bossert’s contract as an at-will employee stated that she could be fired at any time, with or without reason, private attorney Marie Mattox said Bossert still shouldn’t be a victim of retaliation.
“She provided public records and reported that efforts had been made to thwart those efforts and was fired thereafter,” Mattox wrote in an email. “That is a whistle blower retaliation claim.”
Bossert also wasn’t given time to rebuttal her evaluation during the meeting, but instead, voiced her defense during the public comments portion.