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Was the Riviera Beach police chief providing security at a secret meeting?

Posted at 7:57 PM, Nov 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-22 04:28:08-05

On Sept. 28, a secret meeting was held at Hurst Chapel. Sources say the people there were discussing ways to keep fired City Manager Jonathan Evans from getting his job back. 

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At the meeting were council members Terence Davis and Lynne Hubbard, who voted to fire Evans, as well as Riviera Beach Police Chief Clarence Williams. 

After the meeting was over, the chief said he didn’t know what the meeting was about. 

"I've just arrived,” Williams told WPTV’s Wanda Moore. 

Reporter: “You’ve just arrived? Because we saw you get in earlier.”

Williams: ”I’ve come and gone and you couldn't have seen me."

Sources say the chief called members of the community and invited them to the meeting. 

"I don't know anything about that,” Williams said on Sept. 28. 

Reporter: "So why are you here?"

Williams: "Because I'm the police chief of this city. (laughs) That's why I'm here. We have community and I engage in community all the time."

His officers took a vote of no confidence shortly after, which passed 67-3.

Williams claimed later that he was at Hurst Chapel to protect council members. 

Three Riviera Beach officers, who have asked to stay anonymous, said they did not believe Chief Williams. 

"Absolutely was a lie,” one officer said. “He wasn't there doing security. And we know it."

"He didn't have a gun,” another officer said. “He didn't have a badge. He didn't have a radio. He surely didn't wear a vest."

Police Benevolent President John Kazanjian said normally in such a case the chief would not respond himself, but would dispatch one of his officers.

According to the officers and the department’s policy, even if the chief responded himself there would be a so called CAD, or dispatch number. 

“If an officer is to check out any type of detail,” one officer said. “There would be a CAD number that would be clocked meaning time and there's three numbers at the end of it that associate that call."

WPTV requested the CAD number for the night of the Hurst Chapel meeting. 

The Riviera Beach Police Department responded: 

"Your public record request ... cannot be fulfilled because that record does not exist."

The officers we spoke to said they’re not surprised.

“Because it was a meeting that was done behind the scenes,” one officer said. “It was never, never meant to come to light to the public.”

WPTV repeatedly asked Williams for an interview. He declined.