Former Community Affairs Director Bryan Milk chastised Marco Island’s City Council Tuesday for firing him without due process.
“This is no way to treat a 15-and-a-half-year employee,” Milk argued. “I demand an investigation to clear my name.”
Milk's rebuke came three weeks after he was fired. City officials said he failed to disclose a business relationship with the owners of a Marco Island storage facility who would have benefited from a city zoning change advocated by Milk.
City council members did not respond to Milk's request for an investigation Tuesday evening.
Milk found compatible use for Progressive Auto’s Car Condo, 720 Bald Eagle Drive, giving the business greater storage capabilities.
He sent three Official Interpretations on the zoning change Sept. 18 to attorney Doug Lewis, who requested them. Lewis represents Rizzi Storage and Marco Self Storage, two businesses in the city’s C-5 zone. Progressive Auto’s Car Condo is located in C-4.
After receiving the interpretations, Lewis and his clients appealed all three.
Interim City Manager Guillermo Polanco discovered that Milk had a member interest in Progressive’s Xpress Mart, located at the site of Progressive Auto, and also held a promissory note on the business.
Milk was required by city, county and state ethics rules to disclose any relationship with a business affected by city decisions. To his knowledge, Polanco said, no regulatory agency knew of Milk’s involvement with Progressive.
Polanco said he gave Milk the choice of resigning or being terminated.
At a council meeting Jan. 6, Marco Island councilmen voted 5-2 against an independent investigation into the matter. Councilmen Larry Honig and Chuck Kiester voted in favor of the investigation.