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Fort Pierce city attorney accused of creating 'hostile workplace'

Three complainants on administrative leave
Posted: 1:04 PM, Aug 01, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-02 00:39:09Z

Three Fort Pierce city employees have filed complaints alleging that Fort Pierce City Attorney James Messer has created a "hostile workplace."

At a special meeting of the city commission Wednesday morning, Messer said: “I have no intention on commenting on it other than to say there are two sides to every story."  He added he plans to seek outside legal counsel that the city is obligated to pay for as an investigation gets underway.

It was learned that the employees who filed the complaints are currently on administrative leave. Commissioners agreed to allow Messer to stay on the job for the time being.

“I have found a sense of hesitancy and there have been some emotional and physical impacts to the employees," Fort Pierce City Manager Nick Mimms told commissioners.

City commissioner Jeremiah Johnson said after the meeting he was saddened and surprised to hear of the allegations.

"We're just concerned about the business of the city of Fort Pierce.  We're concerned about our employees in the city of Fort Pierce.  We obviously want a good work environment," said Johnson.

Messer came on board in 2016.  He recently had his contract extended for another four years.