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Stuart Commissioner Tom Campenni resigns

Posted at 11:18 AM, Mar 09, 2018

A special Stuart City Commission meeting scheduled for 4 p.m. has been canceled after commissioner Tom Campenni resigned his position, according to an email from the city.

In a letter Campenni sent to the city attorney he said, "I was discouraged and appalled at the wasted $20,000 the Commission chose to spend on its previous investigation of me when I had suggested that the City needed to consider new blood and new ideas when hiring a city manager. I cannot in good conscience  allow this to happen again."

While serving as mayor Campenni faced an age discrimination complaint last year.

He said in the letter that spending the hard-earned money of Stuart's citizens investigating "specious allegations" is something he does not wish to do.

He also denied using threatening words to Stuart City Manager Dave Ross. He said Ross is "far too sensitive to be an effective city manager for any municipality that I know of."

Campenni said his mission to hold the city and commission accountable to taxpayers painted a target on his back and he said as a private citizen he will continue his campaign for "honest, open and accountable government."

According to the memo Dave Ross sent to HR, the alleged threats happened during a phone call with Campenni back in February. Ross wrote that he notified the police and believes Campenni violated the commissioner code of conduct.

As for Campenni’s allegations that Ross did not properly document his paid time off, Ross said he did nothing wrong.

“Everything was 100 percent legitimate and there’s no issue with that. All of our employees strive for doing what’s right all the time but if they’re like me they welcome self reflection and looking at it too."

However, now the city commission is in a time crunch to fill Campenni's seat. The commission's charter gives them 120 days to fill it. The options include appointing someone or holding a special election.