Pahokee city commission meeting erupts into screaming match

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 10:06 PM EDT
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Pahokee City Commissioner Sara Perez is heated.

"I won with 65% of the votes and I'm doing what the citizens that supported me wanted me to do," she said.

She's unhappy because Mayor Keith Babb adjourned tonight's meeting just as it fell into chaos.

"This happens every week that's why we could never get no business done," she said.

Here's why things went haywire at the meeting. Commissioners Perez, Juan Gonzalez, and Regina Bohlen decided they wanted to terminate the contract of City Attorney Burnadette Norris-Weeks.

The three commissioners got their wish. But the issue with many residents is Perez and her husband is suing the city in two different legal actions.

"The one that she's talking about is from 2018. The city keeps postponing for legal reasons," Perez said.

To be clear, the city attorney wasn't working with the city in 2018.

Residents who spoke with Channel 5 off-camera believe this has everything to do with race. And others tonight said Perez should have recused herself from the vote because it's the city attorney who is dealing with her lawsuit. Perez refused.

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"What's going on tonight is a shame and it's sad," Jason Crawford said.

When asked why they want to fire the city attorney all three commissioners refused to respond.

The city attorney did speak.

"I'm fortunate tonight that you all are not here at least bashing my reputation because I know I've done nothing wrong," Norris-Weeks said.

Soon after the meeting was adjourned, and the chaos followed outside into a screaming match.

The city attorney's contract has been terminated. Whether she'll work through her 90-day grace period is a whole other issue.

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