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Riviera Beach council approves settlement with former manager Jonathan Evans

Posted: 9:01 AM, Aug 02, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-02 23:01:58Z
Riviera council approves settlement with Evans

The Riviera Beach city council voted 3 to 2 on Wednesday night to approve a settlement with former city manager Jonathan Evans.

RELATED: Read more Riviera Beach coverage

The settlement said he cannot come back to work for the city. The audience during Wednesday's city council meeting was not happy with that stipulation.

"We should not sign this (settlement agreement)," Riviera Beach resident Bonnie Larson said. "This resolution tonight is absolutely horrible."

The attorney for the city, Glen Torcivia, said that clause to keep Evans from returning to work for the city is fairly common in these settlements for wrongful termination lawsuits.

But that's not what the audience wanted to hear.

"We want Mr. Evans back," a Riviera Beach resident said. 

Councilwoman Julia Botel won the election in March after she ran a campaign of bringing Evans back. 

Wednesday Botel and Councilwoman KaShamba Miller-Anderson made a motion to strike that employment clause from the settlement. But the two council members who voted to fire Evans, Terence Davis and Lynne Hubbard, joined forces with Chairperson Tonya Davis Johnson and voted against it.

Mayor Thomas Masters had clear words, calling the settlement "unjust."

"Just tear it up," he said, as he tore up the papers. 

Missing for 37 minutes during the discussion, Councilman Davis, who started all of this when he made the motion to fire Evans on Sept. 20 "for cause, for misfeasance."

Davis said he had documentation to support his vote to fire Evans, but he never presented it.

“Where is the proof?" One resident asked. "You ain’t got none. You caused this.”

The settlement now says that Evans was never fired for misfeasance.

Evans also gets $190,000 as part of the agreement.

Davis refused to comment on the settlement to Contact 5 after the meeting.  

In a statement from Evans's attorney, it said that "Evans fought hard to try to be allowed to come back to the city. But Evans knew that the current council will not allow him back."

That's why many in the audience last night, including some council members, can't wait until the election in March.

"March is coming," Botel said. 

Botel said she's still hopeful that a future council can overturn the settlement and allow Evans to come back to work for the city. 

Contact 5 reported in July that Evans was fired the day he planned to bring up a $1 million insurance error in Riviera Beach.

Evans was hired as the new city manager in Madeira Beach, Fla. , earlier this year.