Sebastian Daily by Andy Hodges
October 2, 2020
Sunshine Law advocate Michael Barfield, who has entered the lawsuit against former Council members Damien Gilliams, Pamela Parris, and Charles Mauti, says City of Sebastian taxpayers should not be responsible for the violations.
“I’m hopeful that we will be able to recover fees and costs for this particular case from the individuals. We will certainly argue that taxpayers should not be responsible for theses types of egregious violations. At the end of the day, it will be a discretionary decision of the judge as to whether the individual defendants are liable for fees and costs,” Barfield told Sebastian Daily.
Barfield is a paralegal consultant in Florida focusing on the enforcement of open government laws. He serves as president of the Florida ACLU board and an expert on Florida’s Public Records Act and Sunshine Law.
The City of Sebastian could be on the hook for millions of dollars for the Sunshine violations by the three former Council members. They were recalled last month by over 91 percent of the people who voted.
Gilliams has filed other lawsuits saying he was “holding the community responsible.” However, he recently dismissed a lawsuit against Sebastian Mayor Ed Dodd and City Manager Paul Carlisle.