Sebastian City Officials Postpone Mediation Until Monday

City of Sebastian
City of Sebastian

It’s been over a week since three council members held a meeting that residents say was an attempt to take over the City, as they tried to remove the mayor, and fire its staff.

Since then, we witnessed two press conferences from two people declaring they were the mayor of Sebastian.

Last Friday, Mayor Ed Dodd, City Manager Paul Carlisle, and City Attorney Manny Anon filed an injunction against Council members Damien Gilliams, Charles Mauti, and Pamela Parris.

Then on Monday, Damien Gilliams filed a countersuit against the three individuals.

But on Monday, the attorney for Councilman Damien Gilliams said he is no longer declaring to be mayor, and both sides agree that the “illegal coup” is null and void.

That led attorneys from both sides to seek mediation to work out their lawsuits. However, that didn’t go as planned for Thursday.

Attorneys for Dodd, Carlisle, and Anon wanted to postpone the mediation after Florida Sunshine Law defenders Barbara Petersen and Michael Barfield filed an emergency motion to cite the need for the mediation to be open to the public. Mauti’s attorney objected.

On Thursday afternoon, it was decided to postpone the mediation until Monday, May 4, 2020.

“Justice requires that the counsel and parties have more time to review whether there is a way to accomplish a meaningful negotiation of the subject matter involved in the lawsuits without violating responsibility to public transparency and adherence to the law,” court documents said.

Getting on board with the public consensus, Gilliams said the meeting should not be private. He also wants full transparency because he believes taxpayers should find out exactly “what was going on down at city hall.”

Sebastian residents are not happy with their City. They argue that the political fight is embarrassing for them during a time when they should be focused on the pandemic and economic collapse.

A lot of residents are still disappointed that Council members Gilliams, Mauti, and Parris tried to take over the city without any public input.

“We were ordered to stay home by the Florida governor. It’s clear to me these council members wanted to take over our City during a pandemic,” A resident told Sebastian Daily.

We will update you on Monday.

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About Andy Hodges
Andy Hodges was born in Annapolis, Maryland and raised in Jupiter, Florida. Andy has been a radio & TV personality since the 1980s. He has worked for WLIZ, WFLX-FOX 29, WIRK, WIXI, WKSY, WRMF, and WJNO to name a few. After spending 7 years in Atlanta, Georgia during the 1990s, Andy returned to Florida and settled in the small town of Sebastian in 2000. 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.