Mark Lauzier Sues Delray Beach for Firing

Former Delray Beach City Manager Mark Lauzier

Former Delray Beach City Manager Mark Lauzier contends that Mayor Shelly Petrolia orchestrated his firing as an act of revenge. 

In a lawsuit filed this week, Lauzier states that he objected when Petrolia wanted the city to pay for her son to accompany the mayor to Palm Beach County Day in Tallahassee. One day later, Lauzier alleges, Petrolia’s husband reimbursed the city $296 for the son’s expenses. The lawsuit includes a copy of a check to the city from the husband for that amount.   

One day after that, the lawsuit says, the city’s internal auditor met individually with Petrolia and the four city commissioners to discuss issues that led to Lauzier’s firing for cause on March 1. Among other things, Lauzier claims that it was illegal for Commissioner Adam Frankel to make the motion to fire Lauzier by Skype.     

Essentially, Lauzier is claiming that he was fired for being a whistleblower. Because the commission fired him for cause, he received no severance. He is seeking severance under the terms of his contract—five months of pay, seven months of paid leave, 12 months of health benefits—and attorney’s fees.

I’ll have more on this in my Thursday post.

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Randy Schultz, a native of Hartford, Connecticut, has been a South Florida journalist since 1974. He worked for The Miami Herald until 1976 and for The Palm Beach Post from 1976 until 2014, where he served as managing editor and editorial page editor. Since 2014, he has written a politics blog, commentaries and other articles for Boca magazine. His writing has earned first-place awards from the Florida Magazine Association and the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors. Randy has lived in Boca Raton with his wife, Shelley Huff-Schultz, since 1985. His son, daughter-in-law and their three children also live in Boca Raton.