Marco Island resident Sal Sciarrino on Wednesday filed a complaint against city council member Chuck Kiester about the councilor’s deleting e-mails from his personal computer.
Sciarrino had said Monday he would make the decision by Thursday whether he would file the complaint with the Florida State Attorney’s Office.
“I went to the State Attorney’s Office in Naples and they said to go to the Economic Crimes Unit at the Collier County Sheriff’s Office,” Sciarrino said Thursday. “I just filed what I thought was in violation of the Sunshine Law and they accepted it.”
He added the complaint was filed with Sgt. David White of the unit.
“He said thank you and we’ll investigate it,” Sciarrino said. “It’s in the hands of the law. The law shall prevail. We’ll see what happens.”
Sciarrino received more than 1,000 e-mails from Kiester. The councilor has admitted that he had deleted e-mails relating to city business since taking office but added he didn’t know the e-mails were public record.
Last week, Kiester told Marco Island City Clerk Laura Litzan he had tossed e-mails into a box in a closet to be stored temporary and that his wife would deliver them to the city.
Marco Island City Councilor Ted Forcht turned over more than 4,000 e-mails after another public records request was made.
The two requests come in the wake of a Marco Eagle article on Jan. 29 that revealed alleged violations of the Government-in-the Sunshine Law.
Marco Island resident “Butch” Neylon, who said he suspected that the law had been violated, obtained several e-mails from Litzan under a public records request that were sent by former and current city councilors and city staff.
Later, Neylon filed a second request and received approximately 9,000 e-mails sent by councilors and city staff during 2005 and 2006. He turned the correspondence over to the State Attorney’s Office in Naples. An investigator has been assigned to determine whether the former and current councilors discussed city business outside of public meetings. The councilors, city attorney and city staff have denied the allegations.
No official rulings regarding any possible Sunshine Law violations have been made by any court of law.
MARCO CITY COUNCIL DEBATE
- Video: Watch the Feb. 5th Marco Island City Council meeting that ended early
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- POLL: Do you think the Marco Island City Council made a good decision by ending the meeting early?