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EXCLUSIVE: Riviera Beach City Manager Jonathan Evans asked for investigation before he was fired

Posted at 7:04 PM, Sep 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-06 11:23:40-04

On day five after Riviera Beach City Manager Jonathan Evans was fired in a surprise move, those city council members who voted to oust him have still not given a reason as to why they did it. 

“They fired the city manager and they should have given reasons as to why they did that and not just up and do it,” Riviera Beach resident Phillip Duke said. “All these rumors are going around it and people are all divided.”

City council members Terence Davis, Lynne Hubbard and Dawn Pardo voted to fire Evans after only six months on the job. 

Davis said it was due to poor job performance but would not give any details. Pardo never responded to a request for an interview. Hubbard declined to comment. 

The cry for answers in the community is growing louder. 

“What did he do? What did he do?” Riviera Beach resident Madelene Irving asked. “We saw nothing but positiveness.”

NewsChannel 5 obtained Evans personnel file which contained no complaints. 

Through a public records request NewsChannel 5 on Monday got internal emails sent from Evans.

In them he is asking for an internal audit into Hubbard’s use of public funds on private property. 

Hubbard had voted to hire Evans and then flipped on her vote just six months later. She refused to answer what changed her mind. 

Before Evans tenure, Hubbard allegedly used public funds to pave a private driveway. Evans learned about it on the job and asked the city auditor for an investigation. 

In an email to Evans, the city auditor said "preliminary indications are that multiple controls were by-passed."

On Monday the city auditor said that investigation is ongoing. 

Evans also told Pardo she was not able to use public funds on a xeriscape project she had planned on private property.

In an email he told her: Unfortunately, Councilwoman Pardo, legal, as well as, city administration has some concerns about utilizing public monies and equipment on private property, without it being a declared emergency consistent with state statutes. 

Pardo responded to NewsChannel 5 on Tuesday. In a statement she said that her actions were "not even in the slightest instance improper or inappropriate." She said that each council member is given a certain amount that they can use to fix things in their jurisdiction. 

According to the Attorney General's website, those public funds can only be used on public property and not on private property. 

Evans was fired by a 3-2 vote on Wednesday at the end of a regular budget meeting.