Commission on Ethics dismisses council members request to recoup costs from complaint
A request by two members of the Cape Coral City to recoup costs they say were incurred after a resident filed an ethics complaint has been dismissed by the state Commission on Ethics.
Mayor John Sullivan and Councilmember Bill Deile cannot collect costs from Darryl Teblum, whose complaint had been dismissed by the commission earlier, the commission ruled.
Neither proved Teblum’s complaint was filed maliciously or recklessly, the commission said in a press release issued July. 21.
“The Commission dismissed two separate petitions for costs and attorneys fees filed by John Sullivan, Mayor of Cape Coral, and William Deile, Cape Coral City Councilman, against Darryl Teblum, the Complainant in cases against Sullivan and Deile that were dismissed by the Commission at a previous meeting,” the prepared statement concerning findings announced at the July 16 meeting reads, in part. “In addition to being filed late, the petition filed by Sullivan failed to demonstrate that the original complaint was filed containing false allegations or with a malicious intent. The petition also did not contain facts to indicate that attorney’s fees or costs were incurred by Sullivan. Deile’s petition was timely, but did not show that Teblum filed the complaint containing false or reckless allegations that were material to the complaint and did not demonstrate that attorney’s fees and costs were incurred by Deile during the initial complaint proceedings.”
The state Commission on Ethics had dismissed the complaints Teblum filed against Sullivan and Deile at the commission’s April 16 meeting “for lack of legal sufficiency.”
The complaints filed by Teblum in March had alleged a possible conflict of interest.
Sullivan and Deile, before their respective elections, each had filed suit against the city questioning the methodology the Cape uses to impose utility expansion assessments.
The city council is continuing to revisit the utility expansion program.