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Petition filed to recall Riviera Beach Councilmember Julia Botel

Not determined if petition has enough valid signatures
Posted at 9:36 PM, Jul 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-08 23:11:23-04

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — Friday afternoon Riviera Beach city hall saw a group of people file a petition looking to have Julia Botel's time on Riviera Beach's city council come to an end.

"How are you doing? I would like to submit this petition to recall Dr. Julia Botel," Marvelous Washington said to a clerk.

She said her petition is not a beginning but rather a continuation of seeking the truth.

"Residents need to feel like they have a voice and not be afraid of retaliation," she said.

At issue is just what happened ahead of last weekend's "Wet Dream" beach party on Singer Island. Washington accuses Botel of spreading misinformation, including claims the event could lead to violence in order to prevent last week's party from ever happening.

While Singer Island is part of Riviera Beach, Washington said the incident is highlighting a divide within the city.

"The divisive acts by people that are on our council created this problem," she said. "There's no reason why we have Singer Island identifying as a separate city than Riviera Beach because we're all Riviera Beach residents, we all are taxpayers and that's the problem and that's why we're here today."

Botel represents District 4 in Riviera Beach which includes Singer Island. She won re-election just last year.

Friday's filing is the first step in a lengthy recall process. A process that would also include the ability for Botel to file a statement in her defense.

Earlier this week, the controversy surrounding the "Wet Dreams" event included hours of public comment at Riviera Beach's city council meeting.

Botel said her concerns and comments about the beach party and the promoters were not racially motivated.

Thursday, she sat down for an interviewwith me about the controversy.

"The lies that some people said were only because they read things on the internet and believed what they read, some people. The lies that other people said were because they have a political ax to grind with me," she said.

It still has to be determined if the petition has enough valid signatures.

I can tell you there is also a police investigation into how last week's beach party was handled by the city.