Embattled Marco Island city manager hints at mass firing in leaked email

A Marco Island resident, Paul Cantwell, read the closing statement of an email from City Manager Lee Niblock to councilman Larry Honig Monday.

“The bottom of the email was very disturbing because the bottom of the email says, ‘the St. Valentine’s massacre will be a little late, but you’ll enjoy it,'” he said.

In the detailed letter, dated Feb. 15, Niblock discussed the future of staffing for Marco Island city leaders saying, “every council, all seven, have in my first 10 weeks let me know exactly what they thought I should do.”

“It seems like they have some type of plan behind closed doors. I know the people of Marco Island don’t know about it – about a possibility of firing the police chief and the fire chief or at least pushing them out,” Cantwell said.

Niblock is under investigation by CCSO for battery. He was placed on administrative leave back in February just days after this email was sent.

“I think there’s a lot of games going on,” Cantwell said.

When pressed for answers, Councilman Honig says he has no involvement.

“The implication is that I know who he wants to fire and participated in those decisions,” Honig said. “The part that irritated me is to have citizens believe I in any way would be complicit in such ridiculous activity.”

Neighbors like Cantwell aren’t buying it.

“I believe Councilman Honig is dancing around it,” Cantwell said.

City Manager Niblock is still under investigation. When reaching out to his lawyer for comment regarding the email, he declined to comment.

Reporter:Hannah Vogel
Kelsey Kushner
Writer:Erica Brown