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Embattled Delray Beach City Manager George Gretsas sues city

Suspended city manager asks judge to delay termination hearing
George Gretsas, Delray Beach City Hall
Posted at 2:25 PM, Nov 10, 2020

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Embattled Delray Beach City Manager George Gretsas is suing the city of Delray Beach and the City Commission, alleging the city has failed to produce thousands of public records ahead of his termination hearing.

According to the filing reviewed by Contact 5, the city has "only produced approximately 3,100 pages of approximately 10,000 public records that they have admitted exist." The complaint said Gretsas submitted the public records request on Aug. 24.

In the complaint, Gretsas claims the records are needed to prepare for his termination hearing, scheduled for Nov. 20.

He's also asking for a temporary injunction to force the city to postpone his termination hearing for at least 30 days after he receives the public records he requested.

"We want to have an opportunity to be heard, to present our case so that all the facts are known to these people so that when they render a decision, it's based upon the facts and not just rumors," Gretsas' attorney, Stuart Kaplan, said.

The lawsuit requests a judge's order that Mayor Shelley Petrolia recuse herself from Gretsas' termination hearing, arguing Petrolia "appears to have a conflict of interest." The filing alleges Petrolia has a "clear bias against" Gretsas, which "will make it impossible for him to get a fair hearing."

Gretsas also accuses Petrolia of failing to turn over public records, claiming she "admitted to erasing the string of text messages" between herself and a city employee after the two "had been communicating with each other and conducting city business using their private cell phones via text messages."

A representative for the city told Contact 5 the city needs "time to review this court filling" before commenting on the lawsuit.

Petrolia said she can't comment on the pending litigation.

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The City Commission voted to suspend Gretsas and begin the termination process in June.

At an August commission meeting, the city laid out over a half-dozen written charges against Gretsas. Those accusations include that he "engaged in numerous incidents of misconduct," which are the basis for his termination.

Gretsas disputes the findings and claims attempts to terminate his contract are in response to him "exposing corrupt activities" within the city.

"We believe that those documents that we are specifically asking for will uncover and expose the corruption that has been systemic for many, many years," Kaplan said.


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