August 16, 2016 – Tampa Bay Times
by Sheila Mullane Estrada
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. [READ MORE]