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Fort Myers attorney pushes back against city’s ‘unauthorized termination’

Fireworks are flying at Fort Myers City Hall over the firing of Terry Cramer, chief administrative attorney, earlier this month.

“That’s not fair to the taxpayers,” Terrolyn Watson said. “It’s not fair to the city leaders. All we know is he’s fired and that’s it.”

Cramer’s attorney, Sawyer Smith, sent a letter to council member, Gaile Anthony. She serves as the liaison between the city council and the transition team, who recommended terminating Cramer to Grant Alley, the city attorney.

“Mr. Cramer can voice his objection to the unauthorized termination that the city attorney and the transition team issued to him,” Smith said. “They have no authority to fire him as he does not work for the city attorney’s office. He works for the administrative attorney’s office, which is directly under the office of the city manager.”

Smith argues that only the city manager could have fired Cramer. But Kevin Anderson, who is a city councilmember, said they are following the rule book.

“I’m looking at the city charter,” Anderson said, “and it’s clear that the city attorney is responsible for hiring and firing all of the legal staff.”

While Anderson told WINK News he believes the firing was fair to come from the city attorney, he said an open, top city legal position is concerning.

“There’s a tremendous workload when it comes to legal issues on a variety of levels, some of them very complicated,” Anderson said. “Again, we want to make sure we are serving the needs of city staff, so that we are serving the needs of the public.”

“The city council needs to get this department under control,” Smith said, “because it is running roughshod over the taxpayer money.”

Anderson told WINK he is meeting with the transition team for the city on Wednesday. We left messages with two members of the transition team and the city manager, but we did not hear back.

Reporter:Taylor Petras
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