Mayor Ed Dodd: 2 Sebastian City Council Members Broke Sunshine Law

Sebastian Mayor Ed Dodd tells residents that three city council members broke the Sunshine Law.
Sebastian Mayor Ed Dodd tells residents that three city council members broke the Sunshine Law.

Editor’s Note: The original headline said 3 council members broke Sunshine Law. We later found out that Charles Mauti left the Natural Resources Board meeting before Damien Gilliams approached the board to speak. Mauti didn’t violate the Sunshine Law.

Sebastian Mayor Ed Dodd told residents at Wednesday night’s meeting that two city council members broke the Sunshine Law after they appeared at the Natural Resources Board meeting Tuesday night.

Damien Gilliams and Pamela Parris attended the Natural Resources Board on Tuesday night. Conducting business without the rest of the council members is a violation under the Sunshine Law.

“I have asked the city attorney to give me a recommendation about the meeting and will introduce this information at the next meeting,” Dodd told Sebastian Daily.

“It is very serious,” Dodd added.

During the meeting, Gilliams went before the board, asking the volunteers to make a decision. In the background, Parris can be seen sitting in a chair and making illustrations.

Dodd said someone filed a complaint after watching the meeting live on Tuesday.

The city council meeting Wednesday was a travesty and an embarrassment to the residents of Sebastian. Gilliams disrupted the meeting more than a dozen times, challenging not only Mayor Dodd but a City Attorney as well. Gilliams can be seen arguing for almost 30 minutes during each issue brought forward before he agreed and moved on to the next one.

Towards the end of the meeting, Dodd brought up the topic of breaking the Sunshine Law to Gilliams.

“You did a gigantic injustice to that group last night, you gave them about 10 percent of the information they needed to make a decision, then asked them to make a decision, and you put them in total disarray. It was a total injustice to a volunteer board that is making high progress on a matter,” Dodd told Gilliams during the meeting.

It’s important for Sebastian residents to attend these city council meetings.

The next meeting is on January 22, 2020, at 6:00 p.m. inside City Hall.

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About Andy Hodges
Andy Hodges was born in Annapolis, Maryland. When he was age 9, his parents moved to Jupiter, Florida. Andy spent several years at various radio & television stations in Florida such as WLIZ, WFLX-FOX 29, WIRK, WIXI, WKSY, WRMF, and WJNO to name a few. In 1994, Andy made a career change to computer programming and worked for several technology companies (two are Fortune 500) in Atlanta, Georgia. However, Andy returned to Florida and settled in the small town of Sebastian in 2002. In 2005, he returned to the broadcasting news sector and eventually joined our news team in 2016 as editor in chief. Andy's family has lived in Sebastian for more than 45 years.