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Graphic picture sent to West Palm Beach city employee could cost taxpayers $180,000

Posted at 7:45 PM, Nov 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-13 07:20:08-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The city of West Palm Beach is looking to enter a $180,000 settlement with former employee Sharagay Esposito, according to documents on the city’s agenda for Monday’s meeting.

Esposito is said to have received a picture of graphic nature, but city officials have not disclosed who sent the picture.

Contact 5 obtained Esposito’s personnel file, showing she had worked for the city since 2000 and she was fired for unrelated reasons on Oct. 4. Sources tell Contact 5 she showed the picture during her termination hearing.

Mayor Keith James said once he heard about it from then-Assistant City Administrator Faye Johnson, he asked for the resignation of City Administrator Jeff Green.

“I had evidence of a very graphic text was sent. And that [Green] was on the text chain. I should say that" James told WPTV on Nov 5. "She was a city employee. He as a city administrator should never have been involved in that kind of behavior."

The settlement has been placed on the city’s agenda for approval, which is set for Monday.

James broke the news about the settlement to city commissioners during a commissioner meeting on Nov. 4. He said he couldn’t speak sooner because the situation had “quickly escalated into a sensitive legal matter”.

The settlement was an effort to spare the city an expensive lawsuit by Espositio, James said.

City Commissioner Richard Ryles said the settlement and the allegations around it have taken him by complete surprise. Ryles is asking for more information before approving the settlement.

Ryles said in his 30 years of being an attorney he had never seen a municipality settle a pre-suit for that much money.