RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. - The Riviera Beach City Council meeting Wednesday night was so heated, Chair Tonya Davis Johnson called for a recess.
“This is ridiculous,” Johnson said.
It all started when Councilman Terence Davis gave a detailed powerpoint presentation, accusing Councilwoman KaShamba Miller-Anderson and Mayor Thomas Masters of revenge, retaliation, and harassment of staff members.
He based the allegations on the suspension of Interim Public Works Director Terence Bailey. Masters had suspended him for a week over allegations his department had removed campaign signs from private property.
Miller-Anderson said Davis’ presentation was propaganda and she took particular issue with the claim that she was harassing employees.
“It almost seems like a psychopathic person standing up there saying all of this because you know very well of all the things that are going on," Miller-Anderson said. "And you’re behind a lot of it.”
She said he should have instead had a presentation on his missing text messages.
WPTV asked the city in November for 82 text messages from Davis’ city-issued phone, which are public record, but those messages were never handed over.
“The text messages were to KaShamba Miller-Anderson,” Davis said
“That’s a lie," Miller-Anderson said.
“Yes they are," Davis said.
“Don’t even try that," Miller-Anderson said.
“No, they are," Davis said.
Only five of the 82 text messages were to Miller-Anderson. The other messages were to Councilwoman Lynne Hubbard, former Police Chief Clarence Williams, Bruce Guyton, Lydia Smith and others.
After WPTV filed a lawsuit over the these public records, the city said Davis’ messages had been professionally deleted.
Davis told Contact 5 on Wednesday that someone remotely deleted those messages off his phone.
“That happened to me," Davis said. "If you talk to my colleague who was sitting next to me that day, my phone was turning on and off during the entire meeting. On it’s own. Now I don’t know what’s going on around here.”
When WPTV asked to examine the councilman’s phone, the city said the phone had fallen into the ocean.
“I was having a wonderful day at the beach, enjoying myself, unfortunately it fell in the water right in front of me,” Davis told Contact 5 Investigator Wanda Moore on Wednesday. “That was it. I didn’t throw anything. It fell right there in the water at the shoreline. That’s all it did.”
Meanwhile, very little was said tonight about the city’s building official, who is now facing criminal charges from the State Attorney’s Office for allegedly falsely stating she was a certified building official.
Council briefly discussed if the city should launch its own investigation into the building official and if she should be allowed back to work, but those questions were not answered during Wednesday’s city council meeting.