Madeira Beach leaders respond to former mayor's accusations of corruption

Madeira Beach leaders are responding to former Mayor Jim Rostek’s claims of corruption within City Hall, and they’re not happy.

Commissioners asked Rostek to retract his statements in a resignation letter that he sent to residents earlier this month. They said Wednesday night at a meeting that the accusations are unfounded.

"When I read the resignation letter, to be totally transparent, I was disappointed," Commissioner Eddie McGeehen said Wednesday night.

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In the email to residents, Rostek said he has concerns about city employees smoking and texting in city-owned vehicles, and life vests not being worn on city boats. He said these issues create liability problems for the city.

"I am sorry that I have to walk away," Rostek said in an interview with FOX 13 earlier this month getting choked up. "Please keep up the fight"

Rostek said he also worries about wasteful spending within the city’s procurement process.

Pictured: Former Madeira Beach Mayor Jim Rostek

"I took offense," Commissioner Ray Kerr said. "He took the opportunity to make some corruption accusations that I believe are unfounded and I would ask Mr. Rostek to retract that."

Rostek, who served as mayor for a little more than one year, said he took his concerns to City Manager Robin Gomez who, Rostek said, dismissed his suggestions.

"The city manager refused to implement any policy," Rostek said in an interview on June 19.

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Gomez said city staff reviewed and addressed Rostek’s concerns and gave him answers although, "not completely supported/agreed/understood by Mr. Rostek," Gomez said in a statement.

"We’ve gone over the items that were listed in that email," Gomez told commissioners at Wednesday’s meeting. "We’ve addressed all of the issues that have been listed on there. There’s really nothing else to add," he said.

Kerr said he went over the email with Gomez and brought the concerns to department heads.

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"They’re refuted. I support the city manager 100 percent," Kerr said.

Commissioners also just approved a four-year contract extension for Gomez.

"It's time for Madeira Beach to be united and heal and to quit looking for ways to tear each other down," new Mayor Anne-Marie Brooks said.

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Applications opened Thursday for the District 4 Commissioner seat. Brooks held that spot before becoming mayor when Rostek resigned. Applications close Monday.

Rostek said Thursday he stands behind his letter and would never make anything up.

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