After reading the Office of the Inspector General’s report on Mayor Robb’s conduct my first reaction is sadness, first and foremost sadness, not for the mayor, but for Deerfield Beach residents and city workers.
This should not have happened!
The actions which resulted in the findings from the OIG were disgraceful examples of hubris; the actions of a person who feels she is above the rules that govern the rest of us, even after being warned her conduct was illegal.
This was not one event, it was over and over again, and the evidence shows that when she was mayor back in the 80s it was a problem even then. A persistent pattern, I understand, which even when sued, and censured, and having a special resolution passed to halt her behavior, did not stop then and is continuing even now.
We have an excellent group of administrative employees, award winning, and responsive to residents. But their moral is being battered by the mayor’s behavior to them. Many employees will not talk to the mayor unless another person is also present. This is sad.
I was told that at least three employees retired early or left for other jobs in a large part because of Mayor Robb’s conduct. This is sad.
Mayor Jean Robb is not new to politics, she cannot use the excuse of not knowing the City of Deerfield Beach Charter provisions, she was the head of the charter review committee which took each element and scrutinized it to decide if it should be retained as is, changed or deleted.
She knows what she does is prohibited. She recently had 8 hours of training on ethics laws; 4 hours a year are mandated by state law. She knows better, and, she was warned by the City Manager and the City Attorney.
The OIG report points out the many times that Robb has violated laws since she became mayor in March of 2013.
As an example the report states that she, without going through the City Manager, directed the duties of employees.
In the report,
“The City Manager stated that, pursuant to the Charter, the Mayor and any Commissioner may make inquiries of City staff, but they may not direct or interfere in staff members' job duties or assignments.
“He also stated that he knew of no instances when any other members of the City Commission attempted to direct the work of City employees.
“He stated he can and has cautioned Mayor Robb about her conduct, and he has directed his staff to let him know if she attempted to affect their job duties.
“He further stated that he believed that the City Attorney has also advised her about the prohibition against her directing the activities of City staff.”
The report also says she obstructed the city’s code enforcement efforts in favor of a car dealership who donated to two of her favorite charities; tried to block the city from awarding a contract to a vendor she didn’t like; on her own committed the city to pay for transportation of a Little League baseball team; had the city clean St. Ambrose’s parking lot and insisted that Fr. Dalton be issued an employee parking sticker.
All this adds up to simply a maverick who, cannot or will not control her behavior. I lean to the cannot control side because as many times as she promises not to interrupt or disrupt meetings, she continues to do it, as many times as she was warned that she must not interfere with employees duties, she continues to do it, even in public meetings, on camera. This is sad.
This cannot go on, her word is not to be trusted, in my opinion she will not change.
Jean Robb should resign, if not, citing the charter provision that she approved, the other commissioners should vote her off the dais.
The complete OIG Report: