BONITA SPRINGS — The State Attorney’s Office has dropped its review of Bonita Springs Councilwoman Martha Simons.
“We did get a citizen’s complaint and we reviewed it,” said spokeswoman Samantha Syoen. “It was insufficient evidence to establish the violation occurred. ... No further action will be taken.”
The complaint, alleging public records law violations, was the second agency review of a Bonita Springs City Council member.
Councilwoman Janet Martin in October paid $250 and pleaded no contest. She had deleted some e-mails, which were later retrieved.
Simons was happy to hear the review would go no further.
“Well that’s good,” she said. “I don’t know if I did anything wrong. I might have screwed up somewhere. I’m human. If I did anything wrong, it certainly wasn’t intentional.”
Jude Reichenthal, a former city volunteer, lodged a complaint against Simons in August after he believed she violated public records laws.
“I think they’re wrong,” he said. “There is evidence.”
Reichenthal said an e-mail Simons sent announcing a ribbon cutting for the new pedestrian bridge connecting Island Park and Depot Park was sent to undisclosed recipients, an action a previous ruling deemed in violation of the law.
The city has taken steps to remedy deficiencies in its handling of public records requests.
It set up a new standard for staff, council members and volunteers to forward all correspondence to a city server.
“Quite frankly, you wish this was one of those things that was put behind,” said City Attorney Audrey Vance. “We’ve adopted a system and we’ll make sure we’ll provide the best education.”
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Connect with Tara E. McLaughlin at www.naplesnews.com/staff/tara-mclaughlin/