The City of Apopka administration is furious at Richard Anderson. A lawsuit alleges the former Apopka Chief Administrative Officer turned lobbyist/consultant of crashing his truck head-on into a car driving in the opposite direction on April 5th, and then leaving the scene. But whether the allegations are true or not, according to the City, Anderson did not inform City administrators of the incident.
On Wednesday afternoon Glen Irby, Apopka City Administrator, sent an email to the City Council advising the Commissioners that, “Yesterday city administration decided to terminate the contract with Richard Anderson.”
Attached to the email was a letter from the City’s attorney, Cliff Shepard dated May 24, 2016. Shepard’s letter references the hit and run accident that occurred on April 5, 2016, and went on to state that Anderson had not informed the City about the accident or the lawsuit that had been filed by Michael Falcon. As previously reported by The Apopka Voice, Falcon was the driver of the other vehicle.
Shepard’s letter then advised Anderson that the City was being asked if it was aware of the accident and if the “reprehensible conduct attributed to you is acceptable from a City lobbyist and consultant.”
Shepard then states that Anderson is in breech of Section F(1) of his contract which says, in part, that Anderson, “will not act in any way, that would damage the City, its elected and appointed officials, employees, contractors or volunteers’ reputations, relationships and present or future business.” The letter then says that Anderson’s conduct, “… has fallen far short of this contractual requirement.”
The letter then tells Anderson that he is, “… suspended from engaging in any activities for or on behalf of the City pending the Mayor’s recommendation to the City Council that the agreement be immediately terminated for cause.”
Anderson pushed back on Shepard’s accusations, and threatened actions of his own through his attorney Larry Brown if the City were to terminate the contract.
On Thursday, at 2:26 PM, Brown responded to Shepard’s letter and said, “As his attorney, I want to put you on notice that Mr. Anderson rejects your assertion that he has breached any duty he has under his agreement with the City. Therefore, any effort by the City to terminate the agreement will be treated by us as a default on your part, and will be actionable.”
Later on Thursday, Shepard responded and laid out the conditions that Anderson must meet to avoid the termination of his contract:
The City wants an affidavit from Anderson stating, under oath, that he doesn’t own the truck involved in the April 5th crash. Alternatively they will accept an affidavit stating:
- Anderson was not in the pickup at the time of the crash.
- Andeson does not know who the driver was and had not authorized anyone to drive the vehicle.
- He is not aware of the crash until he was served with the lawsuit and would notify law enforcement if he learns the driver’s identity.
- He will cooperate with the FHP investigation of the crash.
Shepard gave Anderson until noon Tuesday to produce an affidavit.
Shepard continued with this; “”In the absence of such a sworn affidavit, the Mayor will be forced to proceed with his recommendation that the lobbying and consulting Agreement be terminated since it cannot be denied that the City’s reputation will be harmed if it permits a suspected criminal to represent it interests to state and Federal government officials.”
The issue is likely going to come before the June 1st City Council Meeting, where all of Apopka’s thorniest subjects seem to land.