WPB mayor increasing security after threats

Posted at 11:42 PM, Feb 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-01 05:10:27-05

The city of West Palm Beach is making changes after a scare. A former employee allegedly set a car on fire at a city sewage plant and made bomb threats to a Riviera Beach water plant Monday morning.

"We worry cause we've seen his incidences escalate and should he be out on bond or not kept incarcerated we’re going to have to really make sure that our security is beefed up in particular areas," said Mayor Jeri Muoio, West Palm Beach.

Douglas Ellington has been trying to get the city's attention on alleged safety issues at Riviera Beach facilities.

Record show he filed a complaint about his concerns with the State Department of Environmental Protection.

He's sent emails to TV stations and he's also tried to contact Mayor Muoio, but the Mayor never met with him, a city administrator did. 

"We have been concerned about Mr. Ellington for a number of weeks, months," said Muoio.

Ellington was fired by Riviera Beach weeks ago. He also worked for the city of West Palm Beach as an electrician from 2007 - 2011. His personnel file reveals he was placed on administrative leave for insubordination and was fired after he didn't show up to work for 5 days straight after his leave was lifted.

Last year he was arrested for barging past security at city hall and trying to run to the Mayor's office.  Earlier this month he was escorted out of a commission meeting.

Mayor Muoio says Monday morning's threats took city employees by surprise. Both the sewage plant and water plant were evacuated.

"It would have been nice if they had more information and we understand that and we’ll make sure that that happens in the future," said the Mayor about city employees.

The Mayor is not revealing what the new security measures will be. The city is reviewing surveillance video to find out how Ellington got past a guard at the sewage plant.