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

 PORT ST. LUCIE – City Council voted 4-1, with Vice Mayor Linda Bartz voting no, to fire City Manager Jerry Bentrott.

Assistant City Manager Greg Oravec has appointed acting city manager.

A motion to fire City Attorney Roger Orr failed.

Councilwoman Michelle Berger had motioned for City Manager Jerry Bentrott to be terminated.

Councilwoman Shannon Martin seconded the motion.

"In terms of the budget and consolidating departments, I cannot fault him on that," Martin said. "Leadership is what I have a problem with. It's important we have a good strong leader. Don't think we have that here."

Both Berger and Martin had expressed their disappointment in how Bentrott and City Attorney Roger Orr handled department leadership and staff during the fall out a drinking and driving incident involving former Assistant City Attorney Gabrielle Taylor.

The motion comes in the wake of Taylor's termination Thursday morning.

"This is a volatile issue prolonging it over a week or days is not going to help anybody," Martin said.

Mayor JoAnn Faiella has requested Bentrott be demoted to Assistant City Manager.

The emergency meeting was paused so Council could return and make a formal motion.

Berger had asked city staff to compile how much the city would have to pay out in severance packages to both Orr and Bentrott if they were to be terminated.

"I'm making a decision today and money is not a factor for me," Faiella said.

Councilman Jack Kelly was adamant during the earlier discussion in waiting to make a decision on any terminations or demotions.

He said it would be "ridiculous" to keep Bentrott on the job if all City Council was waiting to terminate him was on dollar figures. By Council voicing their thoughts on terminating him, Kelly said he's already lost all credibility.

Kelly recommended writing up both Orr and Bentrott and inserting the action in their file.

Upset he received information on Assistant City Attorney Gabrielle Taylor late last week, Kelly is requesting council hold off on any decision until the details of internal affairs investigations are revealed in the coming weeks.

Taylor was stopped by city police around 2 a.m. on Feb. 18 after Officer N. Lovechio witnessed Taylor swerving and speeding at 60 mph down city streets, according to a memo written by the officer.

This story is developing. The earlier story is below. This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Some City Council members have recommended City Manager Jerry Bentrott and City Attorney Roger Orr be terminated.

The recommendation comes in the wake of the termination of Assistant City Attorney Gabrielle Taylor being fired Thursday morning.

Councilwoman Michelle Berger made the recommendation with support of Councilwoman Shannon Martin.

"This is a volatile issue prolonging it over a week or days is not going to help anybody," Martin said.

Mayor JoAnn Faiella has requested Bentrott be demoted to Assistant City Manager.

The emergency meeting has been paused so Council can return and make a formal motion.

Berger had asked city staff to compile how much the city would have to pay out in severance packages to both Orr and Bentrott if they were to be terminated.

"I'm making a decision today and money is not a factor for me," Faiella said.

Councilman Jack Kelly was adamant in waiting to make a decision on any terminations or demotions.

He said it would be "ridiculous" to keep Bentrott on the job if all City Council was waiting to terminate him was on dollar figures. By Council voicing their thoughts on terminating him, Kelly said he's already lost all credibility.

Kelly recommended writing up both Orr and Bentrott and inserting the action in their file.

Upset he received information on Assistant City Attorney Gabrielle Taylor late last week, Kelly is requesting council hold off on any decision until the details of internal affairs investigations are revealed in the coming weeks.

Taylor was stopped by city police around 2 a.m. On Feb. 18 after Officer n. Lovechio witness Taylor swerving and speeding at 60 mph down city streets, according to a memo written by the officer.

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