Port St. Lucie City Council fires City Manager Jerry Bentrott, Oravec is acting manager

There was a shake-up Friday at Port St. Lucie City Hall.

The city manager was fired following an incident involving an assistant city attorney who was pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving.

The city has taken heat after it was discovered she was given a ride home by a Port St. Lucie police officer.

Council members voted 4-to-1 to terminate the contract of city manager Jerry Bentrott.

He had been employed for 7 years and, according to once council member, had fired the most people during his employment than any other city manager.

"It's difficult yeah," Bentrott said.

The motion to fire him was made by councilwoman Michelle Berger. "I  still think you are a wonderful city manager but for this location and this incident this has brought me to this motion," said Berger.

The motion was seconded by councilwoman Shannon Martin. "This is the right decision and unfortunately it had to be made," she said.

Martin said a thorough investigation was not done following an incident in February, when former city attorney Gabrielle Taylor was given a ride home by a Port St. Lucie cop for suspicion of drunk driving.

Bentrott defended himself saying he didn't have all the facts. "It  doesn't do me any good or the public or anybody any good to make a decision and then have information come out a week later."

Mayor JoAnn Faiella, who originally wanted Bentrott to be demoted, supported the termination. "He's not strong enough to lead the city."

The only person to disagree was Linda Bartz, the vice mayor. "He's not afraid to make the tough decisions he never has been," said Linda Bartz.

In November Bentrott fired former police chief Donald Shinnamon. Bentrott never said why.

When asked what he plans to do next he said he had no idea.

Greg Oravec is now interim city manager.

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