AVON PARK - The Avon Park City Council will consider a resolution Monday accepting a private investigator's findings that City Manager Julian Deleon was not guilty of any of the allegations made by Councilman Garrett Anderson. The extensive report, by private investigator Al Smith, was posted on the city's Website Thursday afternoon as part of the agenda for Monday evening's city council meeting. Council hired Smith to look into Garrett's formal complaint against Deleon in a March 7 letter to the state Commission on Ethics. Anderson's complaint stated, "After becoming elected, Avon Park's city manager, Julian Deleon, threatened me stating that if I made an attempt to interfere in any of his personal business, that he would cause serious ramifications for my personal business, Anderson Arms."
Council directed Smith to investigate whether Anderson swore to false allegations in his complaint to the Commission on Ethics. In his report, Smith states the available evidence supports the allegation that Anderson swore to false allegations in his complaint to the Commission on Ethics. Deleon said Friday the investigator's report "speaks for itself." Deleon said his attorney, Mark Herron, of Tallahassee, will be present at Monday's Council meeting. City Attorney Gerald Buhr said he is preparing a resolution, for council's vote, accepting the results of the investigation, which shows Deleon is innocent of all the allegations. Councilman Parke Sutherland said, "the results of the report are fairly self evident. It's unfortunate that Councilman Anderson elected to not participate; it would have been better to have his input and see from him what he believed was the support for his allegations." Those who were interviewed by the investigator, according to the report, did not support Anderson's allegations, Sutherland said. Councilman Terry Heston said the report "speaks for itself." Heston added that Deleon has been doing a very good job for the city, saving money, annexing South Florida State College and adding about 1,000 utility customers. In his report, Smith said Anderson declined to be interviewed for the investigation. "Absent Anderson's participation, I have treated his sworn statement to the Florida Commission on Ethics as his continuing position on the allegations he made," Smith stated in his report. As part of the scope of the investigation, council directed Smith to investigate whether Anderson intentionally performed electrical work at Anderson Arms that was not permitted and jeopardized community safety. Smith's report states that this allegation is substantiated. Kenny Long, of Long's Air Conditioning, found electrical work done at Anderson Arms that he later discovered to be unpermitted, Smith's report states. At the time of discovery, Long said he asked Anderson who had performed the unpermitted wiring in the building and Anderson said, "We did." The report states, County Building Department inspector S.Y. Moseley said when he visited Anderson Arms to check on the unpermitted work, he asked Anderson who did the unpermitted wiring at Anderson Arms and Anderson said, "I did." Anderson Arms is located in downtown Avon Park at 18 S. Butler Ave. Highlands Today attempted to contact Anderson and his lawyer for this story. mvalero@highlandstoday.com 863-386-5826