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Fiery moment at city hall over city’s security contracts

Posted at 11:18 PM, Sep 27, 2019

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla— — A couple dozen people witnessed a fiery moment between a resident and Mayor Keith James on Friday at West Palm Beach’s City Hall, and it’s all because of a security contract.

People were gathered together Friday afternoon for a Special City Commissioner’s Meeting that didn’t end up happening because a quorum wasn’t met.

“I was extremely disappointed we have a new mayor in place and he’s just not listening to the city residents,” said WPB resident Gale Levine.

Many of those who showed up want the city to consider awarding a new contract to Giddens Security Company who’s provided guard services for years.

“We do a lot of government work and we feel like we were highly qualified to keep this business,” said Adam Giddens.

As of October 1st, instead of using multiple firms, Professional Security Consultants will take over as the city’s security contractor. Giddens says they’ve filed suit and sought a temporary injunction to stop that move claiming the city awarded a “no-bid” contract to PSC.

“The city’s charter says they shall have competitive solicitations for anything I think over $25,000. This is an almost 8 million dollar contract,” said Giddens.

Mayor James wouldn’t speak about this on camera with WPTV Newschannel 5 but did address the issue last Monday during a regularly scheduled city meeting.

“The Giddens contact was going to end at the end of this month anyway, no matter what, so to suggest that that decision that we made 2 weeks ago is leading to your unemployment is absolutely untrue,” said Mayor James.

He was responding to a current Gidden’s employee concerned about being unemployed after October 1st.

Without a special meeting to reconsider the contract, Giddens Security will be off the job at 12:01 Tuesday morning.

WPTV NewsChannel 5 reached out to the city for a response. A spokesperson said the selection of PSC was done in accordance with city codes and Florida Statutes.