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Jonathan Evans' attorney gives new settlement proposal to city

Posted at 12:10 AM, Dec 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-21 21:07:52-05

Three months after Riviera Beach Council fired City Manager Jonathan Evans for cause but without explanation,  his attorney presented a new settlement proposal to the city.

Evans' attorney said the new proposal dramatically reduces what Evans is asking for. 

Riviera Beach residents once again asked for council to set the record straight. 

“I feel sorry for Mr. Evans because this committee really hurt his reputation,” one resident said. 

“Clear his name,” another resident demanded.

Under the new proposal, Evans is no longer asking for a hearing to clear his name but rather have it in writing that he was fired “without cause” and did nothing wrong. 

Council already voted in October to change the record, saying Evans was fired “without cause”.

The new proposal also reduces the financial compensation from the city to Evans by 50%. 

Evans hopes to have the new settlement signed by the end of the year so he can explore other employment opportunities. Currently, Evans is one of six finalists for the city manager’s position in Plant City. But commissioners there said they were concerned to hire him, given that Riviera Beach council members never gave an explanation of why they fired him.

If council signs the settlement proposal, Evans would not be able to sue the city for damages. 

Chairwoman KaShamba Miller-Anderson said she hopes council clears Evans’ name. 

Evans had asked for several investigations into city officials, including Public Works Director Brent Johnson. 

Johnson was put on paid administrative leave, pending two investigations. One of them was regarding allegations of theft in the streets division. The other, subject unknown, was still ongoing. 

A WPTV investigation found taxpayers spent $51,000 for Johnson to be at home while the investigation was ongoing. 

“Evans was going to terminate him on Sept. 22,” Miller-Anderson said. “But then he (Evans) was fired on Sept. 20.”

During Wednesday’s council meeting City Attorney Andrew DeGraffenreidt said Johnson was not going to be on paid leave much longer.

“The offer of settlement that was proposed by Mr. Johnson that was rejected,” DeGraffenreidt said. “And the counter was that either he would voluntarily resign on or before Friday or that he would be terminated on Friday.”