Former Riviera Beach city manager asked for investigation into hostile work environment

Former Riviera Beach City Manager Jonathan Evans is expected to file a lawsuit next week against the city over his firing. 

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On Sept. 20 Evans was fired by three city council members “for misfeasance”, but an explanation was never given. 

Council then voted to change the record, saying he was fired “without cause”. 

On Jan. 3 council voted against mediation between the city and Evans to agree on a settlement, which led to Evans’ attorney, Craig Lawson, announcing the lawsuit. 

Many in the community believe Evans was fired for promoting change in the city. 

Just a month after he was hired, Evans addressed big issues within the city. 

“In the short time that I’ve been in the organization, I’ve had an opportunity to speak to numerous employees with respect to some challenges that they are facing in their respective departments,” Evans said in the May 3 city council meeting. 

In a memo sent to staff on April 25, Evans asked council to approve hiring an outside labor attorney to investigate hostile work conditions. 

Evans wasn’t the only one with those concerns. 

“I have received numerous complaints of harassment, workplace bullying and intimidation tactics that have occurred in many of our departments,” Chairwoman KaShamaba Miller-Anderson said on May 3. “No employee should work in those conditions.”

In the memo Evans wrote that he had uncovered disheartening issues, including the fact that “most of the executive directors in their tenure have never had performance evaluations and this particular inactivity is just a scratch on the surface”.

“Also, to look at the placement of employees, the selection, the recruitment process and to ensure that it’s consistent with industry standards,” Evans said on May 3.

During the May 3 council meeting asked for council’s approval to proceed with hiring a labor attorney and a human resources practitioner. 

“I make a motion that we move forward with this item,” Councilwoman Lynne Hubbard said on May 3.

It was approved unanimously by council but not much came of it because four months later Evans was fired by council. 

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