Some members of the Sarasota City Commission are frustrated that City Auditor and Clerk Pamela Nadalini has called a 2 p.m. special meeting at City Hall Friday to discuss a forensic investigation of three city computers.
Vice Mayor Terry Turner and others expressed concern that a meeting was called to discuss the investigation of the computers, even though the commission has received no report about the investigation.
“We have no information to review and that’s troublesome,” Turner said.
Nadalini took City Manager Bob Bartolotta and Deputy City Manager Marlon Brown’s computers away more than three months ago to investigate a complaint from Sarasota attorney and former state Sen. Bob Johnson. Johnson accused Bartolotta and Brown of ordering their computers “scrubbed” of data before the IT Department was officially transferred to Nadalini’s office on Oct. 1.
Bartolotta and Brown have adamantly denied the allegations and questioned why the investigation was requested and performed by Nadalini’s office in the first place.
Internal memos between Bartolotta and Nadalini also reveal that Bartolotta agreed to turn over the computers only if the investigation was performed by a third-party and Audit Manager Heather Riti’s computer was also reviewed as part of a computer forensic investigation.
Nadalini told the commission the written report is exempt from public records because it’s an ongoing investigation and the commission can determine whether or not to release the report at the meeting Friday.
Also at its regular meeting, the commission:
• Into a special meeting of the Community Redevelopment Agency to approve meeting minutes and make advisory board appointments.
• Several agreements and contracts concerning construction and beach contracts as part of the meeting’s consent agenda.
• Commissioner Willie Shaw to the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council and appointed Commissioner Shannon Snyder as Shaw’s backup.
• An appeal of Planning Board’s decision that denied a minor conditional use and site plan for a two-story residential duplex at 1910 Laurel Street. Commissioners upheld the Planning Board’s decision that the project was out of character with the Laurel Park Neighborhoods.
• A presentation from Sarasota Police Chief Mikel Holloway on the department’s operational plan to target violence in North Sarasota and directed staff to move forward with a plan to visit the city of High Point, N.C. to see how the community has helped drastically reduce crime in its neighborhoods.
For more information, pick up a copy of Thursday’s Jan. 5 Sarasota Observer.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].