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.