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Riviera Beach City Council votes against settlement in public records lawsuit

Posted at 10:58 PM, Jan 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-16 23:50:08-05

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — Riviera Beach city council voted Wednesday against a judgment of a lawsuit between WPTV and the city over public records.

The judgment stated that the city failed to produce public records in a timely manner and failed to properly maintain the city’s public records.

Against the advice from the city’s lawyers, the council voted against the judgment, sending the lawsuit back to the drawing board.

WPTV had sued the city and Councilman Terence Davis over missing text messages from Davis’ city-owned cellphone.

It was in the aftermath of the unexplained and sudden firing of former City Manager Jonathan Evans that the text messages were requested.

Months went by without any response and then the city acknowledged Davis’ phone had been intentionally and professionally deleted.

On Wednesday, Davis denied any wrongdoing.

“I did my job, did what I was supposed to do in this whole process, Davis said.

Davis blamed Elvis Mella, the former IT Manager.

“This individual lied to me about scanning my phone,” Davis said.

Davis said that’s why Mella resigned.

City Manager Karen Hoskins disagreed and set the record straight.

“He did not resign due to this case,” Hoskins said.

During the lawsuit, Mella told WPTV”s lawyers he had nothing to do with the destruction of the text messages.

WPTV asked for an independent specialist to look at Davis’ phone. That’s when Davis said his phone had fallen into the ocean.