Florida Firefighter Files Public Records Suit

A former Palm Beach battalion chief who was demoted in 2011 and fired in 2012 has filed a new suit against the town, claiming it violated the state’s pubic record act.

Jason Weeks was one of two firefighters at the center of an investigation into a web site that criticized the way the Town of Palm Beach was treating its employees. After being demoted in 2011 he filed a whistleblower suit. Thereafter he was fired.

Last January, Weeks requested certain emails between Human Resources Analyst Kathryn Dyson and Human Resources Director Danielle Olson dating back to May 5, 2011. He claims the town provide some but not all of the emails. He is specifically seeking an email sent by Dyson to Olson on May 5, 2011 that prompted a series of other emails.

Week’s attorneys filed suit last week in Palm Beach County Circuit Court alleging a violation of the Florida Public Records Act, Florida Statute Chapter 119.  The action is in addition to the whistleblower suit, which is still pending. That suit seeks to challenge the discipline that stemmed from Weeks’ involvement with the www.palmbeach
pensions.com website. According to the town, Weeks worked on the web site while on town time using town equipment. Weeks claims he was acting under the direction of then Fire Chief William Amador.

More on the story.


About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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