Trial for Damien Gilliams, Pamela Parris, Moved to May 17, 2021

Damien Gilliams and Pamela Parris
Damien Gilliams and Pamela Parris

A new trial date is set for former Sebastian City Council members Damien Gilliams and Pamela Parris, who are facing multiple charges of violating Florida’s Sunshine Law and Perjury.

Judge Michael Linn moved the date to Monday, May 17, 2020. It will begin at 9:00 a.m. in Courtroom 8.

The trial stems from what prosecutors say was an illegal meeting to fire city staff and appoint Gilliams as the new mayor. The city council meeting for that day was canceled after thousands of Sebastian citizens complained that it was too unsafe to hold the meeting because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Gilliams allegedly acknowledged the cancellation, according to emails between him and the charter officers. However, he decided to have one anyway.

Sebastian citizens were furious and called the meeting an illegal coup, and say he used the COVID-19 pandemic to steal the mayor’s seat.

Vice Mayor Charles Mauti also participated in the meeting, but he is now cooperating with the state attorney’s office and will testify.

At the meeting inside the locked chambers were Dr. Graham Cox, Diana Bolton, Bob Stephen, and Robert Bedea. Buzz Herrmann was present but was sitting outside the chambers when police arrived.

Two days later, Gilliams held a press conference to declare he was the new mayor of Sebastian. Standing next to him in support were Bolton, Stephen, and Bedea.

Gilliams faces the following criminal charges:

  • Violation of the Sunshine Law
  • Violation of the Sunshine Law
  • Violation of the Sunshine Law
  • Perjury

Parris faces the following criminal charges:

  • Violation of the Sunshine Law
  • Perjury
  • Perjury
  • Perjury

Sebastian Daily will be covering the trial on May 17, 2020.

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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.