NewsPalm Beach CountyRegion C Palm Beach CountyRiviera Beach


State Attorney's Office listened in during Riviera Beach text message lawsuit status hearing

Posted at 6:47 PM, Mar 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-29 05:35:04-04

The State Attorney’s Public Corruption Unit was listening in when lawyers for WPTV and the city of Riviera Beach gave a status update to Judge James Nutt on Wednesday. 

RELATED: More Riviera Beach coverage

“We always take anything to do with public records violations or Sunshine Law violations seriously,” Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg said. “I can’t say publicly whether we’re investigating this matter, but I can say that we’re obviously paying close attention to it.”

Contact 5 asked for 82 text messages from Councilman’s Terence Davis’ city-issued phone. The city did not comply with the request to produce those public records. Then, WPTV filed a lawsuit against the city. 

The city admits that the text messages were professionally and intentionally deleted after WPTV asked for them. 

The willful destruction of public records is a criminal offense.

Then WPTV asked for the phone to examine it. That’s when the city said Davis’ phone “fell into the ocean”.

The city’s IT Manager, Elvis Mella, decided suddenly to resign.

Mella, told WPTV’s attorney he did not delete 82 text messages from Davis’ phone and he feels he’s being made the scapegoat for it by the city.

Another court date for the case is being schedule.